NASBE Awards Grant to West Virginia to Promote School Climate and Safety

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For Immediate Release: July 29, 2014
Contact: Renée Rybak Lang, 703.740.4841, reneerl@nasbe.org

 NASBE Awards Grant to West Virginia to Promote School Climate and Safety   

Arlington, Va. — The National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) has awarded a $5,000 grant to the West Virginia Board of Education to support efforts that strengthen its capacity to examine and adopt state education policies that promote school climate, safety, and supportive discipline.

Beginning August 1, 2014, the West Virginia Board of Education in collaboration with the West Virginia Department of Education will convene a statewide taskforce to examine the policies and practices school districts use to manage their relationships with law enforcement agencies. The project also entails statewide data collection of school-based arrests, referrals to the juvenile justice system, training of Prevention Resource Officers (PROs), and the number of districts within the state that have formal agreements with law enforcement agencies. The findings will be used to identify best practices and develop a toolkit for implementing successful partnerships and interactions between educators, students, and law enforcement personnel. The West Virginia State-Level Initiative to Promote School Climate and Safety is a five-month project.

“Too often, inflexible zero-tolerance policies have taken disciplinary decisions out of the hands of school-based educators who know their students best,” said NASBE Executive Director Kristen Amundson. “This has led to far too many suspensions, expulsions, and referrals to the criminal justice system overall — and the students affected have been disproportionately students of color and those with disabilities. West Virginia’s work to identify and promote best practices in equitable disciplinary policies will result both in safer schools and more students staying in school.”

NASBE’S school discipline project and related state grants are funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies. Additional grants were awarded to Oregon and Virginia earlier this year.

The National Association of State Boards of Education is the only national organization giving voice and adding value to the nation’s state and territorial boards of education. A nonprofit organization founded in 1958, NASBE works to strengthen state leadership in education policymaking; advocate equality of access to educational opportunity; promote excellence in educating all students; and assure responsible lay governance of education. Learn more at www.nasbe.org.

The Atlantic Philanthropies are dedicated to bringing about lasting changes in the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable people. Atlantic is a limited life foundation that makes grants through its five program areas: Aging, Children & Youth, Population Health, Reconciliation & Human Rights, and Founding Chairman. Atlantic is active in Bermuda, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, South Africa, the United States and Vietnam. Learn more at www.atlanticphilanthropies.org.

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