The Iowa Department of Education is seeking applications for a grant that focuses on creating safer and healthier learning environments, and preventing and responding to acts of bullying, violence and harassment that impact school communities at individual and systemic levels.

The funding comes from the Stronger Connections Grant (SCG), which is a component of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act of 2022, and provides $1 billion in funding for states to distribute to high-need schools under Title IV Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

The deadline for applications is April 14.

As part of the competitive subgrant application process, the criteria includes districts with a high rate of poverty and one or more of the following characteristics:

  • high student-to-mental health professional ratio,
  • high rates of chronic absenteeism,
  • exclusionary discipline,
  • referrals to the juvenile justice system,
  • bullying/harassment,
  • community and school violence or substance abuse,
  • natural or manmade disaster or traumatic event.

The use of funds will be prioritized to support conducting school safety assessments and creating safety plans, increasing access to integrated student supports, implementing Multi-Tiered Systems of Support or Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, or improving meaningful family engagement opportunities, and other allowable activities.

The grants will be awarded May 12, and the funding needs to be used by Sept. 30, 2026. More information and the link to the application are available on our webpage.

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