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Newtown school district to get $1.3 million from Education Department

Sign of Sandy Hook Elem School

By Chris Boyettem CNN

(CNN) — The Newtown, Connecticut, public school district will receive a $1.3 million endowment to help the community recover from the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced Friday in Hartford.

The funding comes as a grant under the Project School Emergency Response to Violence program. The the money is meant to support the school district’s behavioral and academic recovery efforts, which include “counseling, wellness activities, and training programs designed to assist families and school staff heal after the trauma,” according to a press release.

“While we continue efforts to enact President Obama’s comprehensive approach to make our schools and communities safer, we want to do whatever we can to support ongoing recovery efforts and ensure this community has the resources it needs to meet the needs of its teachers, students, and families,” said Duncan.

The announcement came during a forum the secretary attended with Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and other state officials to discuss education reform and school security with parents, students, and school officials.

Malloy also announced a $5 million grant to local communities to help meet the expenses of additional school security, the first round of funding under the Competitive Grant Program, a part of the Gun Violence Prevention and Children’s Safety Act, signed into law in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

Two additional rounds of funding, both $5 million, are expected in the next year.

A lone gunman opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School last December, killing 20 children and six educators before taking his own life.

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