U.S. Department of Education Announces More Than $188 Million from the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act to Support Mental Health and Student Wellness

Today, the U.S. Department of Education (Department) is announcing awards of more than $188 million across 170 grantees in over 30 states to increase access to school-based mental health services and to strengthen the pipeline of mental health professionals in high-needs districts. With funding provided by the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA), these investments help advance the President’s Mental Health Strategy, which directly implements his Unity Agenda priority to tackle the mental health crisis in our school communities. These grants will enable communities to hire approximately 5,400 school-based mental health professionals and train an estimated 5,500 more to build a diverse pipeline of mental health providers in schools. These investments will begin the important work of broadening access to critical mental health supports by increasing the number of health care providers in schools. These funds also will help with strengthening the pipeline of certified mental health providers who are ready to work in schools with the greatest needs. These competitive grants are the first in a series of awards the Department will make over several years and constitute the largest investment in school-based mental health this country has ever made.

Even before the pandemic, the wellbeing of many students was unmet due to insufficient access to high-quality mental health care. For years, schools have struggled to meet the recommended ratios for school-based mental health professionals, and this is especially true in schools with more underserved students. Now, the mental health crisis facing students has reached a critical point with more than one in three high school students reported experiencing poor mental health during the height of the pandemic. Research shows that children and young people learn more, report feeling safer, and develop more trusting relationships with their peers and teachers when their social and emotional needs are met with certified and accessible mental health professionals.

“As the President outlined in his State of the Union address, we must do more to tackle our nation’s growing mental health crisis, which is particularly acute among our youth,” said Domestic Policy Advisor to the President Susan Rice. “These new awards will help connect more students in need to school-based mental health services now and ensure a pipeline of trained professionals to support students in the future. Integrating mental health services into our schools is a key component of the President’s Mental Health Strategy and will help fulfill a key component of the President’s Unity Agenda.”

“Even before the disruption, isolation, and trauma of the pandemic, youth rates of anxiety and depression, and other mental health challenges were on the rise, and too many students suffered in silence,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “Mental health and wellness have profound implications for our students, their academic success, and their overall outcomes, and we know that youth facing mental health challenges are more likely to receive services in a school-based setting. The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act represents an unprecedented opportunity to raise the bar for our support of our students, to improve learning conditions in our schools, to expand access to school-based mental health care, and to supercharge efforts across the country to train and hire a pipeline of professionals committed to the wellbeing of our students.”

These historic awards are made possible because of funds secured as part of the 2022 Omnibus and BSCA. Over the next five years, BSCA will invest $1 billion in these programs, helping us to make substantial progress towards the President’s goal, as part of his Mental Health Strategy, to double the number of school counselors, social workers, and other mental health professionals. These funds have the potential to meaningfully change lives by building a mental health infrastructure in schools and communities across the country.

“Following countless conversations with Connecticut parents, educators, and district leaders, as Chair of the subcommittee that funds the Department of Education, I created the School-Based Mental Health Services Grant Program to help districts increase the number of qualified, well-trained mental health professionals working in schools,” said Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee Rosa DeLauro. “Disruption in schools due to COVID-19, economic anxiety, job losses, and learning challenges have exacerbated pre-existing mental health challenges. Our youth need help, and this is a burden that teachers, administrators, and parents cannot alleviate on their own. These grants will expand the program’s reach, helping to move us closer to my goal of ensuring every child goes to a school that has a qualified mental health professional on staff. I want to thank Secretary Cardona for spearheading efforts to get this funding to our schools and improve the health care of our children.”

As part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s ongoing efforts to tackle our mental health crisis by working to ensure every student has access to the mental health supports, the U.S. Department of Education will host a town hall, in partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services, to hear directly from students and young people about the importance of social, emotional, and mental health. The townhall will take place at John Lewis High School in Fairfax County, Virginia where the district has received a grant to make critical investments to recruit, develop, and retain highly qualified and credentialed school-based mental health professionals, including counselors, social workers, and psychologists. Fairfax County Public Schools is part of a larger cohort of Virginia grantees.

This year, Virginia’s districts and institutions of higher education are receiving more than $10 million in funds to strengthen the pipeline and provide school-based mental health services to the state’s underserved students. This investment will support the mental health and academic trajectories of students across the state. These grantees include Campbell County Public Schools, Lynchburg City Schools, Fairfax County Public Schools, Newport News Public Schools, the University of Virginia, and the partnership between Portsmouth Public School Board and Norfolk State University.

Awards are being announced for two grant programs today: the School-Based Mental Health Services (SBMH) Grant Program and the Mental Health Service Professional (MHSP) Demonstration Grant Program. Through SBMH, the Department is investing more than $141 million to 103 states and school districts to increase the number of qualified mental health services providers delivering school-based mental health services to students. These funds increase the number of school psychologists, counselors, and other mental health professionals serving our students through recruitment and retention efforts, the promotion of re-specialization and professional retraining of existing mental health providers, and through efforts to increase the diversity and cultural and linguistic competency of school-based mental health services providers. These investments will allow more students in school buildings across the country to access mental health supports through trained professionals they can trust, and without shame or stigma.

Through MHSP, the Department is investing more than $46 million in competitive grants to 67 states, school districts, and institutions of higher education to support and demonstrate innovative partnerships to train school-based mental health services providers for employment in schools and local educational agencies (LEAs). The goal of this program is to increase the number and diversity of high-quality, trained providers available to address the shortages of mental health services professionals in schools and high-needs LEAs. Nearly half of the awardees included a partnership with a Historically Black College or University, Tribal College, or Minority Serving Institution. These funds will help the many schools struggling to fill mental health professional vacancies by creating partnerships between high-needs school districts and institutions.

The School-Based Mental Health Services Grant awardees are listed below:

Dillingham City School District 

AK 

$577,100 

Bering Straits School District 

AK 

$857,202 

Northwest Arctic Borough School District 

AK 

$711,279 

Southwest Arkansas Educational Cooperative 

AR 

$585,528 

Academy of Mathematics and Science South, Inc. 

AZ 

$768,240 

Tempe Union High School District #213 

AZ 

$275,973 

Northern Humboldt Union High School District 

CA 

$866,861 

Eureka City Schools 

CA 

$1,064,784 

Santa Clara County Office of Education 

CA 

$1,694,164 

Madera Unified School District 

CA 

$1,262,349 

Cutler-Orosi Joint Unified School District 

CA 

$2,999,259 

Riverside County Office of Education 

CA 

$2,999,967 

Tulare County Office of Education 

CA 

$2,991,658 

Conejo Valley Unified School District 

CA 

$1,995,912 

Animo Jackie Robinson Charter High School 

CA 

$2,453,540 

Ukiah Unified School District 

CA 

$1,182,896 

Lemon Grove School District 

CA 

$545,782 

La Mesa-Spring Valley School District 

CA 

$1,471,616 

Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District

CA 

$535,663 

Imperial County Office of Education 

CA 

$3,000,000 

Eagle County School District RE50J 

CO 

$785,304 

EdAdvance 

CT 

$1,549,164 

DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education 

DC 

$2,555,510 

Ingenuity Prep Public Charter School 

DC 

$531,287 

AppleTree Early Learning Public Charter School 

DC 

$289,016 

School Board of Miami-Dade County, Florida 

FL 

$3,000,000 

Duval County Public Schools 

FL 

$1,263,203 

School Board of Monroe County, Florida 

FL 

$1,300,713 

Hillsborough County Public Schools 

FL 

$1,710,606 

Bay County School District 

FL 

$1,698,847 

Seminole County Public Schools 

FL 

$521,838 

DeKalb County School District 

GA 

$677,673 

Calhoun City Board of Education 

GA 

$399,121 

Dougherty County School System 

GA 

$2,999,971 

Illinois State Board of Education 

IL 

$2,975,414 

Board of Education City of Chicago 

IL 

$3,000,000 

Skokie School District 69 

IL 

$1,393,028 

Crystal Lake Community Consolidated School District #47 

IL 

$1,042,046 

Cook County School District 130 

IL 

$1,955,646 

Region 06 West Cook ISC 2 

IL 

$2,189,227 

La Moille Community Unit School District #303 

IL 

$1,370,654 

Indiana Department of Education 

IN 

$1,298,556 

Greenfield-Central Community School Corporation 

IN 

$285,000 

Richland Bean Blossom Community School Corporation 

IN 

$651,743 

Hamilton Southeastern Schools 

IN 

$841,720 

Ohio Valley Educational Cooperative (OVEC) 

KY 

$1,079,192 

Northern Kentucky Cooperative for Educational Services, Inc. 

KY 

$1,263,481 

Nelson County School District 

KY 

$560,213 

Board of Education, Prince George’s County, MD, Inc. 

MD 

$403,449 

Anne Arundel County Public Schools 

MD 

$249,824 

Maine Department of Education

ME 

$1,785,071 

Maine School Administrative District 37 

ME 

$527,561 

Lansing School District 

MI 

$2,504,911 

Independent School District No 535 

MN 

$228,427 

Senatobia Municipal School District 

MS 

$1,052,770 

Jackson Public Schools 

MS 

$533,190 

Iredell-Statesville Schools 

NC 

$2,018,455 

Surry County Schools 

NC 

$892,109 

North Carolina Department of Public Instruction 

NC 

$2,373,740 

Guilford County Schools 

NC 

$2,992,531 

West Fargo Public Schools 

ND 

$2,320,788 

Dickinson Public School District 

ND 

$455,358 

Educational Service Unit 2 

NE 

$3,000,000 

Lincoln Public Schools 

NE 

$360,447 

Scottsbluff Public School District 

NE 

$1,228,248 

New Jersey Department of Education 

NJ 

$2,700,000 

Passaic Board of Education 

NJ 

$279,059 

Central Region Educational Cooperative 

NM 

$398,444 

Silver Consolidated Schools 

NM 

$1,210,500 

Niagara Falls City School District 

NY 

$533,836 

Board of Education – Ossining Union Free School District 

NY 

$596,234 

Charter School of Educational Excellence 

NY 

$500,000 

Haverstraw-Stony Point Central School District 

NY 

$1,750,000 

Greater Amsterdam School District 

NY 

$532,500 

Beavercreek City Schools 

OH 

$596,255 

North Point Educational Service Center 

OH 

$1,206,000 

Oklahoma State Department of Education 

OK 

$1,883,138 

Durant Independent School District I-72 

OK 

$424,040 

Stringtown Public Schools 

OK 

$500,474 

School District 1J Multnomah County, Oregon

OR 

$200,473 

Douglas Education Services District 

OR 

$2,236,382 

Corbett School District 39 

OR 

$862,079 

Jackson County School District #4 DBA Phoenix-Talent Schools 

OR 

$420,080 

RI Department of Elementary and Secondary Education 

RI 

$2,000,000 

CORE Educational Cooperative 

SD 

$205,692 

Bradley County Schools 

TN 

$1,981,669 

Hamilton County Department of Education 

TN 

$492,672 

State of Tennessee 

TN 

$1,870,740 

Pasadena Independent School District 

TX 

$1,058,482 

Education Service Center Region XV 

TX 

$236,515 

Waxahachie Faith Family Academy 

TX 

$707,532 

Uplift Education 

TX 

$1,737,872 

Humble Independent School District 

TX 

$173,740 

Virginia Department of Education 

VA 

$3,000,000 

Campbell County Public Schools 

VA 

$693,750 

Lynchburg City Schools 

VA 

$1,786,893 

Fairfax County Public Schools 

VA 

$2,351,965 

Newport News Public Schools 

VA 

$892,013 

Northwest Educational Service District 189 

WA 

$1,361,470 

Tacoma Public Schools 

WA 

$630,956 

Vancouver School District No. 037 

WA 

$1,726,793 

Shell Lake High School 

WI 

$199,598 

Sauk Prairie School District 

WI 

$947,545 

Total 

$131,840,216 

The Mental Health Service Professional Demonstration Grant awardees are listed below: 

Alabama State University 

AL 

$1,181,140  

Auburn University 

AL 

$352,526  

Troy University 

AL 

$226,555  

University of Central Arkansas 

AR 

$323,451  

Acton-Agua Dulce Unified School District 

CA 

$689,186  

El Rancho Unified School District 

CA 

$696,038  

iEmpire Academy 

CA 

$680,738  

Multicultural Learning Center 

CA 

$820,058  

Norwalk-La Mirada USD 

CA 

$770,537  

Santa Paula Unified School District 

CA 

$635,875  

The Regents of the University of California, Santa Barbara 

CA 

$832,677  

University of Northern Colorado 

CO 

$235,010  

Howard University 

DC 

$540,102  

University of Delaware 

DE 

$339,848  

The Florida International University Board of Trustees 

FL 

$1,200,001  

University of Florida 

FL 

$868,338  

University of South Florida 

FL 

$449,685  

Georgia State University Research Foundation, Inc 

GA 

$1,430,886  

University of Georgia Research Foundation Inc. 

GA 

$219,835  

University of Northern Iowa 

IA 

$370,394  

Illinois State Board of Education

IL 

$1,201,072  

Lewis University 

IL 

$466,308  

Loyola University of Chicago 

IL 

$560,735  

Northern Illinois University 

IL 

$961,629  

Wichita State University 

KS 

$331,806  

Springfield College 

MA 

$576,212  

University of Maine System dba University of Southern Maine 

ME 

$172,837  

Michigan Department of Education 

MI 

$913,475  

College of St. Scholastica, INC. 

MN 

$370,523  

Minnesota State University Moorhead Foundation 

MN 

$770,369  

Regents of the University of Minnesota 

MN 

$1,169,599  

Mississippi State University 

MS 

$163,870  

Cumberland County Schools Board of Education 

NC 

$1,017,227  

North Carolina Department of Public Instruction 

NC 

$776,791  

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro 

NC 

$880,938  

Minot State University 

ND 

$889,991  

University of Mary 

ND 

$1,200,000  

Kean University 

NJ 

$807,332  

Board of Regents, NSHE on behalf of Nevada State College 

NV 

$67,131  

Fordham University 

NY 

$652,241  

Mercy College 

NY 

$887,088  

Nazareth College of Rochester 

NY 

$519,333  

Seneca Falls Central School District 

NY 

$1,199,318  

The Research Foundation for The State University of New York 

NY 

$524,426  

The Ohio State University 

OH 

$836,178  

Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma 

OK 

$909,048  

Carlow University 

PA 

$868,376  

Albizu University 

PR 

$815,440  

Clemson University 

SC 

$600,455  

University of South Carolina 

SC 

$675,888  

The University of Tennessee 

TN 

$712,706  

Region One Education Service Center 

TX 

$1,167,574  

San Antonio Independent School District 

TX 

$294,548  

Texas Woman’s University 

TX 

$228,111  

The University of Texas at Austin 

TX 

$612,378  

The University of Texas at San Antonio 

TX 

$548,284  

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley 

TX 

$1,024,711  

University of Houston-Victoria 

TX 

$224,213  

University of Texas at Tyler 

TX 

$262,537  

University of Utah 

UT 

$969,514  

Portsmouth Public School Board Office 

VA 

$211,338  

The Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia 

VA 

$1,199,434  

Educational Service District 105 

WA 

$1,108,985  

University of Washington 

WA 

$1,196,705  

Alverno College 

WI 

$500,351  

Marquette University 

WI 

$194,337  

Marshall University Research Corporation 

WV 

$1,660,220  

Total 

$46,764,462 

This announcement is part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to addressing the nation’s mental health crisis by providing more resources and supports to help schools address students’ mental health needs. Just recently, the Department announced the Stronger Connections Grant program, which are awards totaling nearly $1 billion to 56 states and territories through BSCA to help schools in high-needs districts provide students with safe and supportive learning opportunities and environments that are critical for their success. At the beginning of the school year, the Department, along with the U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, sent a letter to governors across the country to highlight federal resources available to states and schools to invest in mental health services for students. The Department also awarded $122 billion in American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds to help schools reopen and recover, and experts indicate more than $2 billion has been directed to hire more school psychologists, counselors, and other mental health professionals in K-12 schools. With the help of these funds, as of July, compared with the pre-pandemic period, the number of school social workers is up 54%, and the number of school counselors is up 22%.

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