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Federal Changes to STOP School Violence Grant Application Process


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Federal officials have made some important changes to the STOP School Violence Act grant applications this year, including new areas for the funding for training and hiring additional support staff.

The $43 million now available will fund at least 80 evidence-based violence prevention programs nationwide. States that apply for funding will be eligible to receive up to $2 million while school districts and tribal organizations can apply for up to $1 million each. Applicants, however, are urged to only apply for the amount of money they need for the project.

Important Changes

Federal officials noted that there are two new categories for STOP Act grant funding this year including the hiring of school support personnel from social workers to school psychologists. While funding could be used for these positions in the past, the new category is meant to simplify the process. The money cannot be used to hire school resource officers.

However, another new category allows for the specialized training of law enforcement officials who work in schools. The specialized training can include mental health awareness, conflict resolution, crisis intervention, youth development, and much more.

Unlike in past years, a memorandum of understanding will not be required for several of the categories, although those looking to implement behavioral threat assessments or anonymous reporting systems should still include in their narrative that they have the support of the related partners. Letters of support from partners can also be submitted with the application.

Applications will still require an abstract, a project narrative, a budget for the project, and a timeline. The timeline can be included in the narrative or attached separately.

The Abstract

Those applying for funds through the program will be required to include an abstract with their application, a maximum of 400 words.

Whether applying for funding for one project, such as training, or several that also includes an anonymous reporting system, all should be mentioned within the first one or two sentences of the abstract.

The abstract should also describe the strategies being used to address specific needs. The more detailed the abstract, the better. Include details about the methods used to carry out the plan and who will be served by the project, as well as how the proposal fits in with the school’s existing safety plan.

Project Narrative

The narrative should include a complete description of the project, how it will be implemented, and letters of support from various partners. The narrative should also include which schools are being selected, why, and what potential benefits the project will provide.

Narratives should also include how the privacy and civil rights of students will be protected. Plans for gathering the data that will be needed for various performance measures, as well as plans for sustaining the program after the funding ends, should also be included.

Take Action

For additional assistance, potential applications are being encouraged to contact the National Center for School Safety.