U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will visit Baltimore Wednesday night to announce $63 million in federal grants awarded to study school safety to reduce gun violence across the nation.
Baltimore County Public Schools and the University of Maryland, Baltimore will receive nearly $2 million of that money to focus research on students with emotional and behavioral health issues, according to the National Institute of Justice.
Holder will also announce the expansion of the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention to Baltimore; Long Beach, Calif.; Louisville, Ky.; and Seattle. The cities will receive $20,000 in grants to develop plans to coordinate resources to address youth violence. If they do so successfully, the five cities could receive $100,000 more.
More than 100 school districts around the country applied for the grant funding through the federal Comprehensive School Safety Initiative. Two dozen received awards. Nine of the grants, totaling roughly $18 million, will go toward "Investigator-Initiated Research" and the other 15 — including Baltimore County's — are aimed at "Developing Knowledge about What Works to Make Schools Safe."
The Baltimore study is dubbed "Promoting School Safety: A Comprehensive Emotional and Behavioral Health Model," and will use a randomized sample of 44 schools to judge the effectiveness of a new crisis response and prevention system. The University of Maryland, Baltimore research will look at large-scale, multifaceted, mental health-focused intervention, the NIJ said.
"I am proud to announce that we are taking additional actions to build on the successes we've seen in reducing youth violence and victimization — and the locally-driven work that so many of you are making possible — starting right here in Baltimore," the attorney general said in prepared remarks.