VP Kamala Harris announces $285M for mental health in schools. Here’s how much NC gets

Vice President Kamala Harris on Thursday in Charlotte announced $285 million in federal funding for mental health services in schools, with North Carolina expected to get $12 million of the money.

Harris made the announcement at Eastway Middle School, where she met privately with students affected by gun violence before a panel on violence prevention and mental health. She was joined by Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona and Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles, among others.

The new funding, which comes from the 2022 Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, will go towards hiring and training school-based mental health counselors, Harris said. She estimated the money will help bring on 332 new counselors in North Carolina and more than 14,000 nationally.

“Let’s pay attention to this issue because we can actually do something about it,” she said of the connection between mental health and violence. “And we have the opportunity then to address what we know will otherwise be generational and intergenerational trauma.”

Harris’s visit comes less than two weeks after a New Year’s Eve shooting in uptown raised questions and concerns about safety in the city’s central business district. Since the shooting, local and state leaders have called for a renewed push to address public safety in Charlotte.

Read more at The Charlotte Observer.

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