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SAN TAN VALLEY - The J.O. Combs Unified School District has received a State Board of Education School Safety Program Grant that will fund four social worker and counselor positions at schools.

The Combs sites set to receive grant funding are among hundreds of public and charter schools across the state of Arizona who applied for this funding through a recent expansion of the School Safety Program.

Earlier this year, the Legislature appropriated an additional $20 million to the School Safety Program for FY2020, while expanding the criteria to include funding for school counselors and social workers in addition to school resource officers and juvenile probation officers. Combs submitted applications for positions at all seven of its school sites, and received funding for four of them:

  • Ellsworth Elementary School: Social Worker
  • Simonton Elementary School: Counselor
  • Ranch Elementary School: Counselor
  • Combs Middle School: Counselor

"This funding is instrumental in ensuring our students have access to the proper emotional and behavioral supports to equip them for academic and personal success," said Superintendent Greg Wyman. "We applaud Gov. (Doug) Ducey and our legislative representatives in the House and Senate for their support and advocacy of this funding, and their demonstration of commitment to serving the needs of our students."

Following the State Board's approval of the grant funds at last week's meeting, funding will be available for a three-year cycle starting in January 2020, with job openings currently listed for all four positions.

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