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Get Kids Ahead Initiative

Get Kids Ahead Initiative 

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new Update as of 8/31/2022: Governor Evers announced an additional $15 million to double the “Get Kids Ahead” program to provide mental health services in K-12 schools. The Funding Allocations by District Round 1 and 2 link below includes the two rounds available to LEAs.

The Get Kids Ahead Initiative provides one-time funding to all public and independent charter schools in Wisconsin to help build Comprehensive School Mental Health Systems (CSMHS) in their schools and districts. A CSMHS provides a continuum of services and supports to promote student and staff mental health and wellbeing. A CSMHS is not limited to treating mental illness or substance use disorders. Rather, it includes services and supports that promote social and emotional wellbeing, foster positive mental health and school culture and eliminate systemic barriers to wellbeing and success for all students.

All public school districts and independent charter schools were eligible to receive funding, and each district will receive a per-pupil allocation ranging from the minimum award of $10,000 to much higher awards for districts with large student populations. The Get Kids Ahead Initiative is not a competitive grant program. Enrollment for the program closed at 5 p.m. on Monday, April 4, 2022.

Technical assistance questions can be directed to

Get Kids Ahead Round 2 payments were sent by DOA to LEA’s on 3/31/23. Please review the allocation sheet for the exact payment amount.

UPDATED Get Kids Ahead programming amounts (rounds one, two, and total allocations)

How should the funds be coded? Recipients of Get Kids Ahead (GKA) dollars (districts and independent charter schools) should code the funds as source 780 revenue.

Additional Resources

GKA Initiative: High-Leverage Strategies for Comprehensive School Mental Health Webinar - Do you want to ensure that your school district is spending Get Kids Ahead (GKA) Initiative funding in a way that is effective, impactful, and beneficial to students? This webinar spotlights a variety of high-leverage strategies that help to build equitable and sustainable Comprehensive School Mental Health Systems (CSMHS). Strategies across the continuum of supports (mental health promotion [tier 1], early intervention [tier 2], and treatment services [tier 3]) are shared.


Technical assistance questions can be directed to DPI School Mental Health Consultants also offer office hours on Tuesdays from 8:00 a.m. - 8:45 a.m. Please use this meeting link to connect with them virtually during this time.