W.Va. Receives Federal Grant to Improve School Climate

October 13, 2010

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia is one of 11 states selected to share nearly $40 million from the U.S. Department of Education to improve the school environment in some of the lowest performing schools.

West Virginia is slated to receive nearly $9 million over four years through the Safe and Supportive Schools grant program. The goal of the grants is to create and support safe and drug-free learning environments and to increase academic success for students in high-risk schools.

“It’s important that we be able to measure school safety,” U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said. “These grants will allow states to do that by surveying the real experts – students themselves.”

West Virginia public schools have historically been among the safest in the country. In 2002, the state Board of Education strengthened its Employee Code of Conduct and its Student Code of Conduct in an effort to address bullying, harassment, abuse and violence in schools. Still, the federal grant will allow West Virginia to improve the school environment even more.

“Providing students and staff with a safe school environment has long been a priority in West Virginia,” said state Superintendent Steve Paine. “It is our responsibility as educators to create, encourage and maintain a safe and nurturing environment for all.”  

Other grantees include Arizona, California, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, South Carolina, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

For more information, contact the Office of Healthy Schools at 558-8830 or the Office of Communications at (304) 558-2699.

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