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DeVos Visits Kentucky School Recovering From Shooting

By Evie Blad — April 17, 2019 1 min read
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U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos visited a Kentucky high school Wednesday that is recovering from a 2018 shooting to award additional grant money meant to aid its recovery efforts.

Two students died and 19 others were injured at Marshall County High School in Benton, Ky., when a student opened fired there last year.

The school previously received $138,213 in Project SERV grant funds. DeVos announced $460,000 in additional funding Wednesday to pay school police and security staff.

Project SERV grants are awarded to schools and districts “to help them recover from a violent or traumatic event in which the learning environment has been disrupted.” Those events aren’t always shootings. Baltimore, for example, received a SERV grant to assist with the emotional effects of unrest following the death of Freddie Gray, an unarmed black man who died in police custody. 2018 grantees also include places affected by natural disaster, like Puerto Rico.

The grants aren’t typically awarded in person. DeVos made the stop at Marshall County High School after a nearby morning roundtable held with Gov. Matt Bevin, a Republican, to discuss her proposed $5 billion federal tax-credit scholarship program for K-12 education, which Bevin praised alongside Kentucky school choice advocates.

The Marshall County school shooting, one of the first of 2018, was quickly overshadowed by a larger attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., a few weeks later. That shooting, in which 17 people died and 17 were injured, catalyzed new discussions about school safety and violence.

The Marshall County shooting was one of 24 that Education Week counted in 2018. You can read more about our criteria here.