Congressman Brian Higgins announced more than $1 million in grant funding for the Buffalo Board of Education, the Cleveland Hill Union Free School District and the Cheektowaga Central School District. The grants, awarded through the Department of Education, aim to make schools safer and improve mental health and supportive services for students.
"Young Americans deserve access to a quality education," Higgins said. "Many students struggle academically, because they have do not have the necessary social, emotional and behavioral support. These grants will help schools implement and improve programs to provide this support to students."
Studies have shown improving social, emotional and behavioral supports in schools helps to reduce bullying and violence, increase communication between students and staff, and to improve the learning environment.
The Buffalo Board of Education will receive $694,033; Cleveland Hill Union Free School District was awarded $222,037; the Cheektowaga Central School District was allocated $138,576. The three Western New York districts were among just 71 districts nationwide awarded funding through the program.
The grants are awarded through the School Climate Transformation Grant Program, part of the Local Educational Agency Grants Program at the Department of Education.
School Climate Transformation grants are awarded to districts implementing an evidence-based, comprehensive behavioral programing aimed at improving outcomes and learning conditions for all students. The grants provide funding for up to five years.