$27 M in Readiness and Emergency Management Grants Awarded to 32 States

WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings announced the award of more than $27 million in grants to 91 school districts in 32 states to help them enhance and fortify their readiness and emergency response management plans.

“Providing a safe learning environment for children is one of our most important duties as educators,” Spellings said. “These grants will support that effort by helping more school districts strengthen their crisis planning and better coordinate with the entire community to ensure the safety of our schools and students.”

The Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) discretionary grant program provides funds for local education agencies (LEAs or school districts) to improve and strengthen their emergency management plans. The program also enables school districts to develop improved plans that address all four phases of emergency management: Prevention-Mitigation, Preparedness, Response and Recovery. School districts also must commit to developing written plans that are coordinated with state Homeland Security plans, support the implementation of the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and are designed to prepare for a possible infectious disease outbreak, such as influenza pandemic.

Funds also can be used to train school personnel and students in emergency management; communicate emergency management policies and reunification procedures to parents and guardians; coordinate with local emergency responders, including fire and police; purchase equipment; and coordinate with groups and organizations responsible for recovery issues, such as health and mental health agencies.

As part of the No Child Left Behind Act, local school districts must provide assurances that they have plans that outline how they are working to keep their schools safe and drug free. The grants are housed within the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools, which supports efforts to create safe schools, respond to crises, prevent drug and alcohol abuse, ensure the health and well being of students, and teach students good citizenship and character. The office also coordinates the Department’s efforts in these areas with other federal agencies.


Dept. of Education press release

A complete list of the 91 grant awards can be found at http://www.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2007/08/08292007.html.

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