New Jersey Department of Education

Bipartisan Safer Communities Act-Stronger Connections Grant (BSCA-SCG) Program-Competitive


Division: Educational Services

Office: Supplemental Educational Programs

View Published NGO Document (Microsoft Word)   

Bipartisan Safer Communities Act Training Assistance Presentation (PDF)


Awardee List (Microsoft Word)


The intent of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act – Stronger Connections grant program (BSCA-SCG) is to establish safer and healthier learning environments. The NJDOE determined whether an LEA is “high-need” and eligible to apply for SCG funds based on its poverty rate. While the NJDOE’s priority is in the area of youth mental health, LEAs also should focus on the array of allowable uses articulated in ESEA section 4108 (“Activities to Support Safe and Healthy Students”); i.e., safety, producing a sense of belonging, implementing trauma-responsive practices, and teaching positive behaviors to establish safe and supportive learning environments that improve academic achievement and the well-being of students, especially underserved students. LEAs also are encouraged to build upon existing State and LEA initiatives as defined in Appendix 2 to implement evidence-based strategies that support safe and healthy learning environments; thereby improving the safety and health of students.

To maximize the positive and lasting impact of these funds, the NJDOE seeks applications that demonstrate a strong commitment to the following:

  • Implementing comprehensive, evidence-based strategies that meet each student's social, emotional, physical, and mental well-being needs; creating positive, inclusive, and supportive school environments; and increasing access to place-based1 interventions and services; and
  • Engaging students, families, educators, staff, and community organizations in the selection and implementation of evidence-based strategies and interventions to create safe, inclusive, and supportive learning environments; and/or
  • Designing and implementing policies and practices that advance equity and are responsive to underserved students, protect student rights, and demonstrate respect for student dignity and potential.

The New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) has established a single twenty-five month project period grant program. This grant program is open to New Jersey public high-need LEAs, including Charter and Renaissance schools, included in Appendix 1 of this NGO. Appendix 1 includes high-need LEAs with a threshold poverty level of 20% based on the LEA’s Free and Reduced-Price Lunch (FRPL) enrollment or LEAs with a score above the average on the community poverty index—developed by the NJDOE—for each LEA using a series of economic indicators2 specific to the geographic location of each school district from the U.S. Census. Applicants may apply for up to $1,379,766. Based on the availability of federal funding, this grant program will begin September 1, 2023 and will end on September 30, 2025.

Eligible Agencies: New Jersey public LEAs, including Charter and Renaissance schools, included in Appendix 1 of this NGO

Approximate Number of Awards: 15

Grants Program Type:  Competitive

Total Amt. Available: $20,696,495                     

Application Due Date: 5/31/2023

to top