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Grant applications opening for NC schools to curb school, community violence | #schoolsaftey

RALEIGH, N.C. — About 40 North Carolina public school systems can apply for a share of the $27 million North Carolina has received under a federal school and community safety bill.

The State Board of Education, which oversees the funds, approved opening applications for safety grants during a meeting Thursday.

The money comes from the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. The federal law passed in 2022 following the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, Texas, and is a rare example of bipartisan legislation related to the largely U.S. problem of mass, non-war violence.

The law provided $1 billion toward schools for safety measures, and North Carolina has received just over $30 million across the state Department of Public Instruction and a couple of school systems.

A handful of counties in central and eastern North Carolina will be eligible, including Cumberland, Hoke, Vance, Edgecombe, Wilson, Halifax, Sampson and Northampton. Counties were selected based on relative economic distress, as classified by the state.

The one-time funds are intended to reduce violence, particularly gun violence, in schools and communities.

Counties have until June 27 at noon to apply for the funds.

They can use the money to hire counselors, psychologists, social workers and nurses, though the funds will be made on a one-time basis and won’t be recurring.

The money can also be used to beef up professional development and support systems for helping children build social and emotional skills.

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