Stabenow, Peters Applaud $480,000 to Support Flint Schools Following Water Crisis

Friday, October 07, 2016

U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters applauded the announcement of a $480,000 grant to Flint Community Schools from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Healthy Students. The funding comes from the Project School Emergency Response to Violence (SERV) grant program. This assistance will help Flint Community Schools hire staff and improve stable learning environments for students, who have been affected by lead-contaminated water.

“Today's announcement is an important step in ensuring that every student in Flint Community Schools has the support they need to succeed in the classroom,” said Senator Stabenow. “This is yet another example of the Obama Administration continuing to work with us to bring resources and funding to help the people of Flint.” 

“The water crisis in Flint has impacted the entire community, particularly Flint's children who are more vulnerable to the negative, long-term effects of lead exposure,” said Senator Peters. “I applaud the Administration for their continued commitment to helping Flint families with federal resources as they work to recover from this devastating water crisis. This funding will ensure students in Flint can continue their education and help put the City back on the path toward a bright future.”

As a result of the water crisis, Flint Community Schools has seen a significant decrease in student attendance. Flint Community Schools plans to use the assistance to hire attendance agents to work with families and the community to reduce truancy and improve attendance. The funding will also support hiring school counselors and psychologists to address mental health needs, such as emotional and social distress, within the student population.

Project SERV provides funding for local educational agencies (LEAs) and institutions of higher education (IHEs) that have experienced a significant violent or traumatic event and need resources to respond, recover, and re-establish a safe environment conducive to learning.

Earlier this year, Stabenow and Peters introduced legislation to expand Head Start and Early Head Start enrollment for Flint kids exposed to lead. In March, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded a one-time, $3.6 million grant to expand Head Start and Early Head Start services for preschoolers affected by Flint's lead contaminated water supply. Head Start programming is administered by local public and private nonprofit and for-profit agencies and includes child learning services in reading, math and science; nutritious meals; health and developmental screenings; oral and mental health support; behavioral and special needs services and family services.