With the Panhandle continuing to recover from Hurricane Michael in October, the U.S. Department of Education is now offering a $1.25 million grant for Bay District Schools.
On Wednesday, U.S. Education Sec. Betsy DeVos announced the $1.25 million Project School Emergency Response to Violence (SERV) grant for Bay District Schools which will go “to provide students with much needed mental health services” including hiring “multiple social workers and one paraprofessional for each school in the Bay District.”
“Hurricane Michael caused major disruptions to the lives and daily routines of students, parents and teachers alike,” said DeVos. “While the state has recovered from most of the physical damage caused by the storm, many in Bay County are still working to recover emotionally. This SERV grant will help fill that need. I want to commend Senator Rubio, Senator Scott and Governor and First Lady DeSantis for their commitment to the students of Bay County and Northwest Florida. We will continue to partner with them to ensure students get access to the resources and counseling they need to heal.”
“Hurricane Michael’s damage had a tremendous impact on schools in the Florida Panhandle, which is why I asked Secretary DeVos to quickly approve these Project SERV applications,” said U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. “I applaud Secretary DeVos for getting these much needed funds to Bay County so that students can get the help they need as they and their families continue to rebuild from this terrible tragedy.”
“Once in office, I took swift action to ensure that Bay County and Northwest Florida will fully recover from this storm. While that includes recovering from the physical damage, it also means fully recovering from the psychological damage Hurricane Michael caused. I thank the U.S. Department of Education for this grant award to help our children and schools, and I look forward to continued work with our federal partners to rebuild and restore Bay County and Northwest Florida,” said Gov. Ron DeSantis.
While the state was awarded a $2 million SERV grant after Hurricane Irma hit Florida back in 2017, this is the first one issued in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael.