In the wake of the school shooting last week in Parkland, Florida we have been humbled by the outpouring of care and concern expressed by so many. As we all grapple with the magnitude of this tragedy, we wanted to share a few pieces that relate to the importance of creating safe and supportive schools for all students.
News and Updates
MA DESE announced grant awards for the Fiscal Year 2017-2018 (FY18) Safe and Supportive Schools Grant Program (Fund Code 335), funded through the Safe and Supportive Schools line item (7061-9612). Seventeen MA districts and their selected schools received FY18 Safe and Supportive Schools Grants.
There is new information from MassHealth to share. In the aftermath of recent hurricanes (Harvey, Irma and Maria), some evacuees are seeking out family and friends in the Commonwealth and are now residing in Massachusetts. MassHealth has developed processes to streamline the application process for hurricane evacuees. For more information, please visit the MassHealth website at https://www.mass.gov/service-details/for-hurricane-evacuees-applying-for-masshealth
The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education announced that the Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) Safe and Supportive Schools Grant Program (Fund Code 335), funded through the Safe and Supportive Schools line item (7061-9612), is now accepting proposals.
Great news! The Senate Ways and Means budget was released yesterday and the line item for Safe and Supportive Schools includes $500,000 in critical funding needed to continue the successful implementation of the Safe and Supportive Schools statute.
Representative Ruth Balser’s budget amendment to restore the critical funding to continue implementation of the Safe and Supportive Schools statute resulted in the House including funding at $500,000 in its final proposed budget! This is an increase of $300,000 from the recommendation in the House Ways and Means budget!
Since the release of the video last fall, we received a large number of requests to share the video. Many who contacted us let us know that there was a desire to start a trauma-sensitive schools discussion in their own communities. In response to these requests, we developed a discussion guide to go along with the video.
Unfortunately, the Safe and Supportive Schools line item (7061-9612) was significantly decreased in the FY18 House Ways and Means Budget. The proposed budget includes only $200,000, which is a reduction of $200,000 from the amount that was appropriated in last year’s budget. Thankfully, Representative Ruth Balser of Newton is filing a budget amendment to fund this line item at $400,000. This will restore critical funding for the line item.
This amicus brief in AM v Holmes asks the Supreme Court to hear a case on behalf of a student who was charged with a crime for burping loudly in class.While we know little of the reasons behind the behavior, advocates across the country from well respected children’s right organizations argue that the precedent established by this 10th Circuit decision upholding the criminal charge, could result in criminalizing behavior that includes: “boredom or insecurity due to a lack of understanding of the material being taught, to hunger, stress, disability, health issues, or unaddressed trauma”
School departments in Massachusetts seek to reassure parents, students, and teachers that protections remain in place for immigrant and transgender students.