McConaughey launched the Greenlights Grant Initiative, a privately funded program intended to help smaller school districts and local education agencies (LEAs) apply for the competitive grants available under the law. The funding is meant to help establish safer and healthier learning environments and prevent and respond to acts of bullying, violence, and hate, as well as other educational programs.
The need for such a program first became clear, McConaughey said, when the actor and his wife, Camila, had dinner with Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-Texas) a few months after the bipartisan law was enacted. The lawmaker noted that only 12 of the 119 schools in his district had applied for grants under the law — and none got approved.
“We started to do research and said, ‘Is this a localized problem to that area?’ No. It’s a national problem,” McConaughey said. “We noticed it was happening all over the place that people were not aware or didn’t have the ability or the resources to fill out grants and write them competitively.”
Under the law, the grant money can be reallocated if it isn’t distributed by 2026. “That would make the passing of the bill a great symbol that wasn’t really activated and didn’t become useful, and I think that’d be a shame,” McConaughey said.
Part of the actor’s new effort involves a public awareness campaign with a spot featuring the actor himself and a website launched Thursday, all to ensure school districts know the funding is available. Additionally, the initiative will offer higher-need school districts multiple resources to help in applying for the grants — tutorials, webinars, guidebooks, and even grant writing services at no cost.
Sasha Pudelski, the director of advocacy for AASA, The School Superintendents Association, said the initiative “doesn’t just tell multiple federal agencies to ‘do better’ — it will model for them how to target federal dollars to schools more equitably and how to level the playing field so that resource-poor communities have a fighting chance to pull down critical school safety funding.”
McConaughey, who met with several lawmakers in Washington last summer, has also established a strategic advisory board chaired by a group of bipartisan lawmakers who played key roles in the passage of the BSCA: Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.), Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Rep. James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.), and Gonzales.
“The long-term goal is to simplify this process because it is not simple at all,” McConaughey said.
Matthew McConaughey has launched the Greenlights Grant Initiative, a privately funded program aimed at assisting smaller school districts and local education agencies (LEAs) in applying for competitive grants under the law. This funding is intended to create safer and healthier learning environments and address issues such as bullying, violence, and hate within educational settings.
The need for this program became evident during a conversation between McConaughey, his wife Camila, and Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-Texas) after the bipartisan law was enacted. Gonzales revealed that only 12 out of 119 schools in his district had applied for grants, and none were approved. Recognizing that this was not an isolated issue, McConaughey conducted further research and discovered that many schools nationwide lacked the awareness, ability, and resources to complete grant applications competitively.
The law stipulates that grant money can be reallocated if it remains undistributed by 2026. McConaughey emphasizes the importance of activating and utilizing these funds to ensure the bill’s passage is more than just a symbolic gesture.
To raise awareness about the availability of funding, McConaughey has launched a public awareness campaign featuring himself and a website dedicated to informing school districts about the grants. The Greenlights Grant Initiative also provides additional resources, including tutorials, webinars, guidebooks, and grant writing services, all free of charge, to assist high-need school districts in their application process.
Sasha Pudelski, the director of advocacy for AASA, The School Superintendents Association, praises the initiative for not only urging federal agencies to improve but also demonstrating how federal dollars can be targeted more equitably towards schools and resource-poor communities, ensuring equal access to critical school safety funding.
In addition to his efforts in launching the Greenlights Grant Initiative, McConaughey has established a strategic advisory board composed of bipartisan lawmakers who played vital roles in the passage of the BSCA. The board, chaired by Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.), Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Rep. James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.), and Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-Texas), will provide guidance and expertise.
McConaughey’s long-term goal is to simplify the grant application process, recognizing its complexity and the challenges it presents for school districts. By finding innovative ways to streamline the process, the Greenlights Grant Initiative aims to make accessing funding more accessible for schools across the country.
The Greenlights Grant Initiative represents a significant step forward in addressing the need for safer and healthier learning environments in schools nationwide. By providing resources and support to school districts, McConaughey and his team are ensuring that the potential of the bipartisan law is realized and that critical funding reaches the communities and students that need it most.