Senator Michael O. Moore (D-Millbury) announced the inclusion of $400,000 within the Senate version of the Fiscal Year 2019 supplemental state budget to help curb bias incidents and hate crimes in public schools across the Commonwealth.

The funding will support a grant program for the education and prevention of hate crimes and incidences of bias in public schools. The program would be coordinated by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in coordination with the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS).

“Incidents of hate or bias have no place in Massachusetts, or anywhere in our country,” said Senator Moore. “Schools are meant to be safe, supportive environments for our students and staff, and this grant initiative will provide the resources school districts need to help prevent hate crimes and to encourage victims to come forward to report incidents.”

According to a report by EOPSS, 438 hate crimes were reported in 2017 in Massachusetts with 53.9 percent of those crimes based on race, ethnicity and national origin bias— up from 52.8 percent in 2016. A piece of legislation filed by Senator Moore would permanently establish a similar grant program by statute. The bill, S.2324, is currently pending before the Joint Committee on Education.

The supplemental budget bill will now move forward to a Conference Committee comprised of three members from the Senate and three members from the House of Representatives to resolve differences between versions of the bill passed by each Chamber. To continue tracking the bill, S.2378, visit the Legislature’s website www.malegislature.gov.