WASHINGTON - U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced on Thursday the Department’s Office of Safe and Healthy Students (OSHS) has awarded Santa Fe ISD a $1 million grant.
The grant is called the Project School Emergency Response to Violence (SERV) grant and it will help with recovery efforts following the tragic shooting at Santa Fe High School.
“No student, parent or educator should have to experience the trauma suffered by so many at Santa Fe High School and other schools throughout the country,” said Secretary DeVos. “This initial SERV grant will help to provide essential services that will aid in the healing and recovery process. Every day, the work of the Federal Commission on School Safety grows more urgent. We continue to focus on identifying proven ways to prevent violence and keep our students safe at school.”
President Trump arrived in Houston Thursday morning and met with families of Santa Fe victims before heading out to Dallas by the afternoon.
The trip to Texas was originally tied to a fundraiser, but the White House confirmed Wednesday the president added to the itinerary time to meet with families from Santa Fe.
Friday afternoon, Santa Fe ISD released the following statement on receiving the grant:
“Santa Fe ISD continues to be grateful for the outpouring of support that has come to our District from our local community, the state and from across the nation. We are very grateful for the $1M grant from the U.S. Department of Education for education related services to help restore the learning environment for schools in Santa Fe Independent School District following the tragic mass shooting at Santa Fe High School on May 18, 2018.
We plan to use a collaborative approach to consider options to improve and implement our current safety and security plan, as well as, integrate additional mental health/counseling support. We will be listening to our internal and external key stakeholders to help develop a plan to use the grant funding in a way that that will reflect the true partnerships that exist within our Santa Fe community and among our students, staff, and parents.
This week, we have completed our school year and are looking forward to our 2018 graduation ceremony. As we move forward, the safety and well-being of our students and staff continues to be our highest priority.
We are approaching our planning with a sense of urgency and will be sharing information about our plans as quickly as possible, as together, we continue the healing process."
Officials said the Department of Education's Project SERV grants provide critical funding for school districts, colleges and universities that have experienced significant traumatic events and need resources to respond, recover and re-establish safe environments for students.
There are two types of Project SERV awards: Immediate Services and Extended Services.
Immediate Services grants provide emergency, short-term assistance to affected school districts or colleges and universities.
Extended Services grants help school districts and colleges and universities in carrying out the long-term recovery efforts that may be needed following a significant, traumatic event.
Santa Fe Independent School District received an Immediate Services grant.
Officials said DeVos and other members of the Department of Education are in frequent contact with state and local education leaders in Texas as they assess their needs in the wake of this tragedy.