U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced Friday that she will award Broward County Public Schools an initial $1 million grant to assist in recovery efforts following the shooting rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14.
The funding will come from the Project School Emergency Response to Violence (Project SERV) grant program.
“My heart is broken for the students, teachers and families who have had to endure this unthinkable tragedy,” DeVos said in a statement. “I am committed to helping identify solutions to prevent another tragedy like this one from happening again. The initial SERV funds awarded today will help Broward County provide services to aid in the healing and recovery process.”
During the shooting, 17 people were killed and 14 others wounded when Nikolas Cruz, a former student at the school, opened fire at the school.
The Education Department states about Project SERV:
Project SERV provides critical support to school districts and institutions of higher education that have experienced a significant traumatic event and need resources to restore the learning environment for students and staff. Examples of activities that may be funded by Project SERV include mental health services; overtime for teachers, counselors and security staff; and payment of substitute teachers.
DeVos said she met with several members of the Parkland community recently. She hosted many of the parents, students, and educators from Parkland last week and also joined with them at the White House for a discussion on school safety.
“The strength shown by these students, family members and educators is an inspiration to us all,” she said.