$5.8 MILLION IN NEW GRANTS AVAILABLE FOR SCHOOL-BASED DRUG PREVENTION
- GRANT DEADLINE: MARCH 21, 2008 -
(Washington, D.C.)The United States Department of Education (ED), and the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) have announced the competition of an estimated $5,800,000 in new grants for school-based student drug-testing programs. An estimated 38 grants will be awarded in the summer of 2008 for qualified recipients.
According to John P. Walters, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, “A significant value to implementing random student drug testing in schools is its ability to keep kids from using drugs. It not only gives students a reason not to try drugs, but also relays the negative impact drug use can have. Testing also helps to identify those students who need specialized treatment to combat addiction.” According to the latest Monitoring the Future (MTF) report by the University of Michigan, teenage drug use has declined 24 percent since 2001. That translates into 860,000 fewer young people using drugs today than in 2001.
Random student drug-testing has been an important part of President George Bush’s national drug control strategy, which focuses on prevention, treatment and enforcement, and has spread rapidly. Since random student drug testing has been ruled valid and constitutional in two separate Supreme Court decisions in 1995 and 2002, the U.S. Department of Education has awarded grants for school-based student drug-testing programs to public, private, parochial, and charter schools.
“Student drug testing has been proven to be effective in preventing youth drug use when used as part of a comprehensive school-based drug prevention strategy,” said Education Secretary, Margaret Spellings. “The release of grant funding serves as an impetus to encourage eligible entities to apply.”
Nationally, more than 1,000 U.S. schools and school districts have implemented random testing programs. It is treatment-based, confidential, and is locally instituted and administered.
“Random student drug testing has yielded positive feedback from school administrators, teachers, coaches, parents, and youth. This positive feedback is a testament to the benefits random student drug testing yields for students, parents, and the community as a whole,” said Director Walters.
The new grants will go to local education agencies and other public and private entities to develop and implement or expand school-based mandatory random or voluntary student drug-testing programs for students enrolled in grades 6 through 12. The drug-testing grants can only go toward the testing of students who participate in athletics programs; students engaged in competitive, extracurricular, school-sponsored activities; or for students who volunteer to enter the program with their parent’s or guardians’ written consent.