Biden-Harris Administration Announces More Than $6 Million in New Grants to Address Community Violence and its Impacts on Student Mental Health

Biden-Harris Administration Announces More Than $6 Million in New Grants to Address Community Violence and its Impacts on Student Mental Health

January 11, 2024

Today, Vice President Kamala Harris announced $6.4 million from the U.S. Department of Education (Department) to address community violence. The funding is being awarded to seven school districts across the country as part of the Project Prevent grant program. The Vice President will make the announcement in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she will be joined by U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona to highlight the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to reduce gun violence and expand access to mental health services for students.

“Every child deserves the freedom to live safe from gun violence in their school and throughout their community. President Biden and I are committed to protecting this freedom and continuing to address an epidemic of gun violence that has become the leading cause of death for children across America,” said Vice President Harris. “With today’s announcement, we are reaffirming our Administration’s dedication to preventing this senseless violence and keeping our children, families, and communities safe. As we call on Congress to pass commonsense gun safety policies, we are proud to fund proven solutions like those supported by Project Prevent that help schools increase access to mental health and other resources for their students.”

“The youth mental health crisis and the devastating impact of gun violence on our communities have been mounting for years, but thanks to President Biden’s leadership, we are making historic investments that will reshape how our schools care for students and provide the safe learning environments they need to grow and succeed,” said Secretary Cardona. “Today’s announcement of another $6.4 million in Project Prevent funding complements the Biden-Harris Administration’s unprecedented $2 billion investment secured through the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act to transform school-based mental health and create safer and more positive school climates. These investments mean that schools and communities will have more resources for the interventions that help keep students safe and healthy. The fact is, we cannot recover academically and Raise the Bar for education in this country unless we meet the needs of the whole child, and that starts with creating safe, welcoming schools where teaching and learning can truly thrive.”

Project Prevent grants help build the capacity of local educational agencies (LEAs) that have been impacted by community violence to expand their capacity to implement community- and school-based strategies to prevent and mitigate the impacts of community violence, and to address the impacts of exposure to community violence. For fiscal year 2024, seven new grants, totaling approximately $6.4 million, will focus on building connections between schools and community-based organizations to provide students with the resources to help break cycles of violence and trauma, including through the use of mental health services and supports.

These awards will allow school districts to identify and serve students exposed to community violence by helping them increase student access to mental health services, support conflict management programs, and implement other community- and school-based strategies to help prevent community violence and to mitigate the impacts of exposure to community violence.

This announcement is the latest step that the Biden-Harris Administration has taken as part of its ongoing commitment to prevent and reduce the impact that community violence has in many of our country’s school communities. These grants also support the Administration’s goal of transforming how we address mental health in America, which is a core pillar in the Biden-Harris Administration’s Unity Agenda for our nation. The historic Bipartisan Safer Communities Act has delivered unprecedented resources to support youth mental health, including for students impacted by gun violence.

The new Project Prevent awardees are listed below:

 

Grantee

State

Award Amount

Savannah-Chatham County Public School System

GA

$1,013,113

Osage County Interlocal Cooperative

OK

$759,624

Buffalo City School District

NY

$1,013,113

Tahlequah Public Schools

OK

$954,196

Mastery Charter Schools

PA

$698,584

Norfolk Public Schools

VA

$949,264

Educational Service District 105

WA

$1,012,267

Total

 

$6,400,161