2022 K-12 education grants: three funding opportunities

Learn about education grant-funding opportunities to keep students safe and healthy now and in the coming years

"So, I say to you: Don’t give up. Don’t give up on the things that have great meaning to you. Don’t get lost in a sea of despair. Stand up for what you believe in. Because…we are one people, one family, the human family. We all live in one house, the American house, the world house. We are Black. We are white. Hispanic, Asian American, Native American. We are one people.”

John Lewis stated this on the fiftieth anniversary of Bloody Sunday in Selma, Alabama, on March 7, 2015. Seven years later, as we have survived another election season, how is our nation doing? What has been achieved in this country to further our educational system, keep our students safe, and help repair broken seams in our union?

Here are three funding opportunities that target school violence prevention, the delivery of school-based mental health services and the disruption of injustice and inequality in schools.

In 2022, the COPS Office received 405 applications and awarded $71,938,228 to 235 grantees for school violence prevention programs.
In 2022, the COPS Office received 405 applications and awarded $71,938,228 to 235 grantees for school violence prevention programs. (John Minchillo)

School violence prevention

One school safety grant which many school districts pursue is the U.S. Department of Justice COPS Office School Violence Prevention Program (SVPP). I felt privileged to work on one of these grants in 2022 and was ecstatic to discover that it was funded to help make students feel safer in school. I discussed this grant when it opened this year in a previous article.

In 2022, approximately $73 million was available in grants for schools for violence prevention. During this grant cycle, the COPS Office received 405 applications and awarded $71,938,228 to 235 grantees. Over 1.4 million students and 2,600 schools benefitted from this funding. Rural (65%), tribal, and schools with few resources were awarded, and 48 states were represented in the funding. The average ask amount was $306,120 and the average award was $306,120. Grantees included Argo Community High School District 217 (Illinois), Fayette County Schools (Tennessee), Cajon Valley Union School District (California), and San Antonio Independent School District (Texas).

School-based mental health services

According to The State of Mental Health in America, “Over 1 in 10 youth in the U.S. are experiencing depression that is severely impairing their ability to function at school or work, at home, with family, or in their social life.”

  • 16.39% of youth (age 12-17) report suffering from at least one major depressive episode (MDE) in the past year.
  • 11.5% of youth (over 2.7 million youth) are experiencing severe major depression.”
  • 59.8% of U.S. youth with serious depression do not receive any mental health support.
  • Over 1.5 million U.S. youth suffer from alcohol or drug abuse.

There are simply not enough mental health providers in our country to meet the need. The Department of Education Office of Elementary and Secondary Education provided the School-Based Mental Health Services Grant Program to raise the number of school-based mental health providers, which is a huge need for our nation. While 2022 applications are still being reviewed, the Hawaii Department of Education was awarded $2,500,000 in 2021.   

School inequality and injustice

Looking for some grants to fight inequalities and injustice in your school? Want to start some “good trouble” to respect John Lewis’ legacy? Consider the Abolitionist Teaching Network (ATN), which provides $70,000 in grants in 2022. The current grant cycle closes on November 27, 2022.   

"When you see something that is not right, you must say something. You must do something. Democracy is not a state. It is an act, and each generation must do its part to help build what we called the Beloved Community, a nation and world society at peace with itself" (John Lewis, Together, You Can Redeem the Soul of our Nation, New York Times, July 30, 2020).

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