Bipartisan Safer Communities Act Stronger Connections Grant Program

Portal ID:
Opportunity Type:
  • Grant
Last Updated:



The goals of the BSCA-SCG are to support evidence-based programs, structures, approaches, and practices that will increase school safety, better meet the increasingly urgent mental health needs of identified youth and to increase the safety and emotional well-being of all students. 


The fundamental requirements of Title IV, Part A apply to these funds, including the supplement, not supplant requirement (ESEA section 4110); the maintenance of effort requirement (ESEA section 8521); and the requirement to provide equitable services to private school students and personnel (ESEA section 8501 et seq.).

The BSCA-SCG Program is based on the premise that locally designed school safety and climate plans that have authentic community support can, in concert with evidence-based strategies for creating safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments, accelerate meaningful partnerships between school staff and students, families, and community members. These partnerships ensure that school safety and climate plans address local conditions, elevate communal assets and strengthen communal infrastructure in neighborhoods.

LEA plans that support safe, healthy, and supportive schools should include a comprehensive set of evidence-based components. The LEA Plan and its key focus areas should reflect an understanding of familial and communal strengths as well as gaps in systemic support. Most LEA plans will include safety assessments and corresponding safety strategies (e.g., emergency operation plans), positive school culture and climate (e.g., Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS)), and student wellness (e.g., integrated student supports). Research consistently shows that safe, inclusive, and supportive learning environments lead to improved academic achievement.

As schools become more supportive, students feel more connected and research indicates strong correlations to improvement in emotional well-being of students, as well as with reductions in disciplinary actions. Accordingly, students who experience a sense of belonging in school are also more likely to exhibit positive behaviors. This includes learning environments that provide culturally and linguistically responsive practices where students are surrounded by adults they can trust and who are committed to building strong relationships. Environments like these also help build connections that make students less likely to bring weapons to school and more likely to report the presence of weapons in school. Beyond the benefit to the individual student, safe, inclusive, and supportive learning environments benefit their fellow students, educators, and the community at large.

Grant applicants should demonstrate how they intend to use grant funds for planning, implementation, professional development, and evaluation of activities in support of evidence-based programs and practices to improve school culture/climate, increase student engagement and inclusion, decrease risk behaviors, increase protective factors, and increase the physical and emotional well-being of all its students.

Eligibility Requirements

Eligible Applicants:

  • Public Agency

Applicant agencies are limited to LEAs within the State of California that serve students in pre-K–12, inclusive. An LEA is defined as a school district, charter school, or a county office of education (COE) in its role as a provider of direct student services in COE-operated schools.

Important Dates

The date (and time, where applicable) by which all applications must be submitted to the grantmaker. Time listed as “00:00” equates to midnight.
The date on which the grantor expects to announce the recipient(s) of the grant.
October 6, 2023
The length of time during which the grant money must be utilized.
September 30, 2026

Funding Details

The total projected dollar amount of the grant.
See Notes Below
A single grant opportunity may represent one or many awards. Some grantors may know in advance the exact number of awards to be given. Others may indicate a range. Some may wish to and wait until the application period closes before determining how many awards to offer; in this case, a value of “Dependent” will display.
Grant opportunities representing multiple awards may offer awards in the same amount or in varied amounts. Some may wish to wait until the application period closes before determining per-award amounts; in this case, a value of “Dependent” will display.
$450,000 – $8,850,000
Certain grants require that the recipient(s) provide a letter of intent.
Certain grants require that the recipient(s) be able to fully or partially match the grant award amount with another funding source.

Available Funding Notes:

The U.S. Department of Education has announced that California’s share of funds under the BSCA Stronger Connections Grant Program is $119,000,000. Accordingly, the California Department of Education will award $118,000,000 on a competitive basis to LEAs who demonstrate high need as defined in the RFA, and in accordance with the intended purpose of the BSCA Stronger Connections Grant Program.

The funding source allocated to fund the grant. It may be either State or Federal (or a combination of both), and be tied to a specific piece of legislation, a proposition, or a bond number.
  • Federal and State

Funding Source Notes:

On June 25, 2022, President Biden signed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, as part of an effort to address the epidemic of gun violence that has impacted so many schools and communities across the nation. As part of this legislation, Congress authorized $1 billion in formula funding under Title IV, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) to State educational agencies. 

The manner in which the grant funding will be delivered to the awardee. Funding methods include reimbursements (where the recipient spends out-of-pocket and is reimbursed by the grantor) and advances (where the recipient spends received grant funds directly).
  • Advances & Reimbursement(s)

Funding Method Notes:

The first payment of 60 percent of the grant funds will be released upon completion and return of the Grant Award Notification. 

A second payment of 30 percent of the funds will be released upon completion of the Annual Report and the Expenditure Annual Report for Year 1. 

The final 10 percent of the entire grant budget will be withheld pending receipt and approval by the School Health and Safety Office of the required End of Project report. 

How to Apply

State agencies/departments recommend you read the full grant guidelines before applying.


For questions about this grant, contact: