Press Release

WASHINGTON – Denise Forte, interim CEO of The Education Trust, released the following statement regarding yesterday’s announcement from the U.S. Department of Education about the disbursement of $1 billion in funding from the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which includes key recommendations for state policymakers to ensure that schools foster safe, healthy, and inclusive learning environments for students.

“We are pleased to see that U.S Secretary of Education Cardona’s accompanying Dear Colleague Letter emphasizes evidence-based strategies that address students’ social, emotional, and academic well-being, as well as underscore student-centered policies that advance equity and respond to the needs of underserved students, particularly students of color and students with disabilities.

“We hope state and district leaders will take to heart the serious harms that various school hardening measures have on student outcomes and will instead prioritize investments in the social and mental health of students through evidence-based measures that provide safe, nurturing, and welcoming school environments for students.

“We are also glad that the Department included important recommendations to states for determining the criteria for high-need LEAs, which will help underserved students receive the supports they desperately need.”