Funding for anti-bullying programs in Colorado schools is relatively new

DENVER -- Funding for anti-bullying programs at Colorado schools is relatively new.

Over the past two school years, the Colorado Department of Education has handed out $3.8 million to school districts seeking help. Before that, it was zero.

The money has gone to 73 schools in 14 districts.

They get the money in return for a requirement that they create "disciplinary consequences for students who bully and for those who take retaliatory action against someone who reports in good faith."

The program appears to have an impact.

The state reports 80 percent of schools now have compliant anti-bullying policies. The number was only 37 percent in 2012.

Experts said children -- not adults -- are usually the ones who first sound the alarm on bullying.

That knowledge is highlighting the need for schools to focus more on educating kids to speak up.

Several school districts have posted bullying prevention resources on their websites.

RELATED: Resources to help you talk to kids about bullying