On Monday, the United States Department of Education committed an additional $1.9 million in federal funds to the Newtown Public School District. The grant is funded through Project SERV (School Emergency Response to Violence), a program designed to support the nation’s public schools through recovery from violent tragedies, like the December 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
“We will do whatever we can to continue assisting and supporting the healing and recovery of Newtown,” Arne Duncan, the U.S. Secretary of Education, said in a release from the White House Press Office. “This additional grant will help students, teachers, families, school district and community move forward after such an unimaginable tragedy.”
Last May, the Department awarded Newtown with $1.3 million to help implement a behavioral and academic recovery program, providing grief counselors and training school faculty and staff to help their respective schools through the shooting’s immediate aftermath. Further psycho-emotional support systems will continue to be funded by this latest grant, but the district will also use the money to bolster school security and tutoring, nursing, and behavioral intervention programs.
Newtown received $50 million from the Connecticut state government to demolish the existing Sandy Hook Elementary School facility. Demolition was completed last week, and a new building will be raised in its place with construction set to begin summer 2014.
“[The shooting] was a disaster, and, the thing is, no community is prepared to fund [recovery from] a disaster,” LeReine Frampton, the Newtown Democratic Registrar of Voters, told the News in October, referring to the state government’s support. “There’s just not that much money. So I think it’s fair — this is actually helping the town, the community.”
On Oct. 31, Project SERV awarded almost $270,000 to the Chardon Local School District in Ohio after a shooting at Chardon High School left three students dead.