In response to the devastating effects of Hurricane Michael across the sunshine state’s Panhandle, Betsy DeVos (R), the U.S. Secretary of Education, has announced that a $1.25 million Project School Emergency Response to Violence (SERV) grant award will be provided for Bay District Schools.
Local school officials have explained that the money will be used to provide students with mental health services, and the district is planning to hire multiple social workers and one paraprofessional for each school in the Bay district.
Commenting on the effort, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) detailed that “once in office, I took swift action to ensure that Bay County and Northwest Florida will fully recover from this storm.” Moreover, the Governor noted that “while that includes recovering from the physical damage, it also means fully recovering from the psychological damage Hurricane Michael caused.”
The award from the Department is the first SERV grant that the sunshine state has applied for and received for Hurricane Michael recovery efforts. Previously, the Department awarded Florida a $2 million SERV grant after 2017’s Hurricane Irma.
Secretary DeVos expressed that “while the state has recovered from most of the physical damaged caused by the storm, many in Bay County are still working to recover emotionally.”
So, “this SERV grant will help fill that need.”
DeVos pointed out that Senator Marco Rubio (R) and Senator Rick Scott (R) along with Governor DeSantis and First Lady DeSantis have actively shown “they commitment to the students of Bay County and Northwest Florida.”
And, she asserted that the Education Department “will continue to partner with them to ensure students get access to the resources and counseling they need to heal.”