The Iowa Departments of Education and Health and Human Services yesterday awarded 10 competitive grants, up to $100,000 each, to public school districts for training and coaching school health care workers on COVID response-and-recovery initiatives focused on social-emotional-behavioral health.
The COVID-19 Public Health Workforce Supplement Funding grants will help school districts enhance mental health literacy, implement evidence-based practices and expand capacity for addressing the social-emotional-behavioral health needs of students resulting from or exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The grants can be used to cover costs associated with planning, training and coaching, including travel expenses for up to 12 professional development opportunities.
“The COVID-19 crisis shined a bright light on an already growing children’s mental health crisis nationwide. These grants will help support the complex needs that Iowa’s families are facing. Expanding opportunities to skill build in coping and resiliency, learning a common language to talk about mental health, I see these as foundational for the health of our kids,” shared Kelly Garcia, director of the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services.
“The emotional health and academic growth of students are closely connected,” said Ann Lebo, director of the Iowa Department of Education. “These additional resources will help schools expand their capacity for addressing the social-emotional-behavioral health needs of students, break down barriers to learning and improve outcomes as we move forward.”
The following 10 districts were awarded a one-time COVID-19 Public Health Workforce Supplemental Funding grant.
- Chariton Community School District $9,524.60
- Dubuque Community School District $64,354.20
- East Buchanan Community School District $54,974
- Harlan Community School District $42,550
- Iowa City Community School District $94,837
- Logan Magnolia Community School District $30,300
- Mount Pleasant Community School District $50,000
- North Mahaska Community School District $51,000
- Muscatine Community School District $100,000
- Storm Lake Community School District $95,525
The Iowa Departments of Education and Health and Human Services received $4.5 million from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention for the grants, which were awarded to school districts through a competitive process. Award amounts were based on the funding requested by each district to support their professional development plan, not to exceed $100,000. Priority consideration was given to applicants that have not received additional federal funding to cover the costs of professional learning and coaching beyond what they have available through three rounds of federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funds (ESSER) and Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) school improvement funds.
This is the third and final round of funding. All professional development and associated expenses funded through the grant must be completed by June 30, 2023. A total of 17 districts were awarded over $1.3 million through the first two rounds of funding.
More information is available on the Iowa Department of Education’s website.