fbpx

NC grant program for schools was so popular, the money ran out in less than a week

School districts snapped up the small grants available purchase feminine hygiene products for students with funding from the state budget, but there wasn’t enough money to go around.

Sixty-six school districts and charter schools received grants of $500 to $5,000 to purchase feminine hygiene products for students, according to a report to the legislature from the state Department of Public Instruction. DPI distributed the money on a first-come, first-served basis, as the legislature directed.  The $250,000 the legislature appropriated was claimed in less than a week, and fewer than half of the 134 applications were funded. The legislature made the money available only this year.

In their requests, the school districts wrote of low-income students who missed school, had to use wadded-up toilet paper, or make embarrassing trips to the front office for supplies because their families could not afford them.

At some schools, employees use their own money to buy tampons or pads for students whose families cannot afford them. Other schools rely on a PTA or community donations.

“All grantees indicated a great need for student access to feminine hygiene products as they may not have access to them at home or their families may not have the financial means to purchase products themselves,” DPI’s report said.

“More than half of the grantees indicated that they either have Title I schools in their districts or that many of their students and families are living below the poverty line. For these students and families, feminine hygiene products are an expense they cannot afford, and therefore they have to rely on the school to provide these products. Many grantees also noted that an increase in the availability of hygiene products in school would help students stay in school when are menstruating and would alleviate student anxiety and embarrassment.”

With the realization that period poverty causes students to miss school, states have begun passing laws requiring public schools to provide menstrual hygiene products or providing school money to purchase them, Policy Watch has reported.

“As many grantees indicated, there is a direct link between student academic success and the provision of hygiene products in school,” DPI said in its report to legislators. “The grant program has helped to support districts and students by removing financial barriers to products and ensuring health and well-being is maintained so that students continue their academic growth.”

Fifteen states have laws providing menstrual hygiene products in schools, Stateline reported this month, citing information from the Alliance for Period Supplies.

The DPI report said school districts still ask about the grant program, with questions about when more money might be available.

State Sen. Natalie Murdock, a Durham Democrat, filed a budget bill last year asking for the money, and the grant made it into the final budget. Murdock said in an email this week that getting the money in the budget was a bipartisan effort, with GOP Sens. Deanna Ballard, an education budget committee chairwoman, and Kathy Harrington, a Senate budget chairwoman, championing it.

Ballard and Harrington could not be reached this week.

The DPI report shows the need to continue to fund the grants, Murdock said in the email.

“With so many schools across the state applying for the funding, it shows that there is a real need for these products in our schools,” she wrote.

Load More Related Articles
Load More By Lynn Bonner
Load More In News

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz is trying to cut a last minute deal that could bring tens… [...]

For the third year in a row, Decarcerate Now NC will host a vigil outside the… [...]

Tillis and Burr 'aye' votes help assure measure could not be filibustered WASHINGTON — The U.S.… [...]

Early voting in the U.S. Senate runoff got off to a busy start in Georgia, with… [...]

U.S. Marine vet from North Carolina: Congress should pass the Afghan Adjustment Act ASAP More than… [...]

It’s an age-old, chicken and egg discussion: Is it extant societal forces of exclusion, hatred and… [...]

The post At the corner of Partisan and Politics appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]

Maybe the change was an inevitable byproduct of our current charged and contentious era. Maybe it… [...]

REPUBLISHING TERMS

You may republish this article online or in print under our Creative Commons license. You may not edit or shorten the text, you must attribute the article to The Pulse and you must include the author’s name in your republication.

If you have any questions, please email [email protected]

License

Creative Commons License AttributionCreative Commons Attribution
NC grant program for schools was so popular, the money ran out in less than a week