Iowa receives $5.9M for new classroom grant programs
The U.S. Department of Education announced awards Thursday totaling nearly $1 billion through the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which will fund state educational agencies’ development of grant programs to provide students with safer and healthier learning environments. Iowa has been allocated $5.9 million of the funding, according to a news release. “We have years of evidence that demonstrate the value of building safe and supportive schools. These efforts improve academic achievement, promote emotional well-being, reduce disciplinary actions, and increase positive behaviors,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “Safe and supportive schools help our children and youth overcome trauma and provide a strong foundation of emotional and physical safety. These grants will provide real benefits to real students in real schools.” Cardona sent a letter to state educational agencies outlining three principles to consider when designing a competitive grant competition and providing direction locally for using the funds: create positive, inclusive and supportive school environments; and increase access to place-based interventions and services, engage students, families, educators, staff and community organizations in the selection and implementation of strategies and interventions to create safe, inclusive and supportive learning environments, and design and implement policies and practices that are responsive to underserved students, protect student rights, and demonstrate respect for student dignity and potential. More information about the BSCA Stronger Connections grant program can be found at this link.