Skip Navigation
We use cookies to offer you a better browsing experience, provide ads, analyze site traffic, and personalize content. If you continue to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies.

Student and School Safety Under ESSA

Local educational agencies can access funds to protect student safety.
Published: April 2020

Bullying and school violence are education issues, health issues, and social justice issues.

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) provides new opportunities to addresses these critical issues. Thanks to ESSA, local educational agencies can access funds for initiatives that improve academic achievement and student engagement, including protecting student safety. Nonprofit and for-profit entities may be given the opportunity to work with students. 

ESSA School Safety Key Provisions

The law addresses four aspects of creating safe, healthy school climates:

Professional Development: ESSA provides for ongoing professional development for teachers, school leaders, and other personnel carrying out a project.

Accountability: ESSA includes accountability-based programs and activities to enhance school safety, such as research-based bullying prevention and intervention, cyberbullying prevention, disruption of recruitment activity by groups or individuals involved in violent extremism, and gang prevention programs

Collaboration: ESSA requires plans to be developed and implemented in collaboration with local stakeholders. 

Assurances: ESSA requires local educational agencies to provide assurances that students who benefit from activities funded under this part of the law continue to be enrolled in public elementary or secondary schools


Bullied students are "at increased risk for depression, anxiety, sleep difficulties, lower academic achievement, and dropping out of school" (Centers for Disease Control, 2019).


Anti-bullying programs can reduce bullying at schools by as much as 20% (International Journal of Bullying Prevention, 2019).

Are you an affiliate?

Jump to updates, opportunities, and resources for NEA state and local affiliates.
Student looking through microscope

Opportunity Is Here

Do students and educators at your school have everything they need? Use our short checklist to see what your students deserve and where your school can grow.
National Education Association

Great public schools for every student

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.