PATERSON, NJ – U.S. Reps. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) and Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ-05) announced today that the U.S. Department of Education has awarded a $668,480 School Climate Transformation Grant (SCTG) to Teaneck Public Schools. The SCTG is a federal program designed to help make schools safer and improve mental health services for students and young adults.
“The importance of a safe, high-quality learning environment for our students cannot be overstated. It is imperative to their success both in the classroom and beyond,” said Rep. Pascrell, a former history teacher and longtime champion of school safety measures. “This game-changing grant for Teaneck will help establish a platform for students to not only learn but to feel comfortable and safe amongst their peers. I am proud to announce this federal investment in Teaneck’s students and will continue fighting to bring home more awards for our great schools.”
"Right now, reports are showing New Jersey is experiencing a rising number of youth suicides. It's vitally important that we invest in our school systems' abilities to provide mental health services for our children. The School Climate Transformation Grant investment awarded to Teaneck Public schools is an incredible first step in making sure that students have safe spaces," said Rep. Gottheimer. "With this investment, Teaneck Public Schools is clawing back $668,000 to expand facilities and care necessary to help students in need. I commend everyone involved in making this a reality and investing in the future well-being of our children."
"It's a new day in Teaneck; and we are working towards our vision to provide educational excellence for all," said Dr. Christopher Irving, Superintendent, Teaneck Public Schools. "A major goal of our five-year Strategic Plan is to create equitable and inclusive learning opportunities for all students - which will include adopting a district-wide strategy for addressing student behaviors in conjunction with our code of conduct. We are extremely appreciative to have been selected for this generous grant; and I would like to thank our elected officials at the federal, state and local levels for being so supportive of our district goals."
The SCTG provides funds to school districts that will be used to develop, enhance, or expand systems of support for implementing evidence-based, multi-tiered behavioral frameworks for improving behavioral outcomes and learning conditions for students.Today’s grant announcement comes soon after Rep. Pascrell announced an $885K federal investment in students of Passaic and Clifton. Rep. Pascrell also announced this month a $250,000 school safety grant for Paterson, the latest in his fight for increased school safety measures in New Jersey and throughout the nation. Shortly after the Stoneman High School tragedy, Pascrell and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY-12) offered legislation to reinstate the Obama-era mental health background check for gun purchases that was rolled back by congressional Republicans and repealed by Donald Trump shortly after he entered office. Also in February 2018, Pascrell and Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL-07) reintroduced the Gun Violence Prevention and Safe Communities Act, which aims to combat gun violence through increased federal taxes on guns and ammunition and by closing tax and regulatory loopholes on some of the most popular and deadly firearms. He also helped secure $2.2 million in school safety grants for schools all throughout northern New Jersey last October.