Stronger Connections Grant

Arkansas Department of Education

Safe and Healthy School Communities

On September 15, 2022, the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) was awarded $9,378,149 in federal K-12 funding from the U.S. Department of Education under the BSCAStronger Connections grant program Title IV, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) for state educational agencies (SEAs) to provide students with safe and healthy learning environments. ADE is awarding these funds through competitive grants to high-need local educational agencies (LEAs) that ensure transparency and successful implementation of activities allowable under section 4108 of the ESEA to support the ongoing needs of students, educators, families, and communities.

Grant Purpose

The Stronger Connections grant aims to provide funding for LEAs to develop, implement, and evaluate a comprehensive approach that prioritizes physical and emotional safety for their unique school community (SEC. 4108 [20 U.S.C. 7118]). Funded activities and practices should promote safe and supportive learning environments by prioritizing safety, creating a sense of belonging, and teaching positive behaviors in order to improve academic achievement and the well-being of all students. All grant expenditures must supplement, not supplant.

Grant Award Recipients

LEAAward Amount
AR Arts Academy
Blytheville 163,950
Clarendon 85,800
Clinton 156,475
Conway 513,775
Cotter 116,675
Dierks 112,850
eStem 224,500
Eureka Springs 116,500
Exalt Academy 116,000
Flippin 120,925
Foreman 87,250
Gosnell 153,400
Gravette 176,325
Greenwood 245,625
Gurdon 114,550
Harrison 219,350
Horatio 116,975
Jasper 122,000
Jonesboro 359,950
Kirby 85,650
Lafayette County 112,675
Lincoln 151,650
Little Rock 83,026
Magazine 85,800
McGehee 153,900
Mena 167,800
Mountain View 163,150
Mountainburg 115,025
Mulberry 84,900
Nettleton 239,425
North Little Rock 403,900
Ouachita River 119,500
Ozark Mtn 113,275
Pine Bluff 226,325
Pottsville 169,675
Quitman 121,300
Rivercrest 150,550
Riverview 151,800
Russellville 331,025
Shirley 83,000
South Central Coop 270,925
South Conway County 214,050
Texarkana 247,850
Trumann 163,125
Waldron 159,700
Wonderview 85,750
Wynne 187,100
Yellville 123,700


All grantees must assure participation in the Stronger Connection grant from 2023-2026 meets the following requirements:

  • District will designate a team that meets periodically to review behavior and health and safety data (including feedback from students, parents, families, and educators) to make decisions for school-wide prevention practices.
  • District team will engage in data-based decision making that monitors and assesses safe and healthy activities, and will participate in Safe and Healthy Schools training.
  • District will complete surveys, forms and record-keeping procedures per grant requirements.
  • District will provide time and/or stipends for staff to participate in ongoing training and technical assistance.
  • District will participate in all aspects of training and technical assistance associated with Stronger Connections starting in 2023 and continuing through the 2026 school year. District will ensure activities and practices are delivered with fidelity and data are used to inform decisions.
  • District agrees to follow all federal requirements of the Stronger Connections grant. Funds are to be used in accordance with Title IV, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) to provide students with safer and healthier learning environments.
  • District agrees that all grant expenditures meet the supplement, not supplant requirement (ESEA section 4110); 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).
  • District will provide reporting as requested by the Arkansas Department of Education - Division of Elementary and Secondary Education and the U.S. Department of Education.

Grant Management
For support or additional information contact:

Whitney Bordelon -