Louisiana Awarded $20.9 Million Grant for Charter Schools

WASHINGTON, Louisiana has been awarded a $20.9 million No Child Left Behind grant through the Charter Schools Program to help reopen charter schools damaged by hurricane Katrina and Rita, help create 10 new charter schools and expand existing charter schools to accommodate students displaced by hurricane damage.

As a result of the hurricanes, public schools, including charter schools, were severely damaged or destroyed in New Orleans and its surrounding parishes. Eleven charter schools were located in the Orleans parish, one of the hardest-hit areas. Families and their children have moved to other parts of the state and to other states. It is estimated that more than 300,000 students were displaced as a result of the hurricanes.

Louisiana will use these funds to assist charter schools damaged by the hurricanes in the recovery of professional staff, supplies, equipment and other operational needs. Funds will also be used to assist charter schools that have the ability and capacity to significantly expand existing classrooms and facilities in geographic areas of highest need in order to serve large numbers of students displaced by the hurricanes.

With the grant, the state will be able to plan, design and implement an estimated 10 new charter schools approved by local school boards and the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. Many of these are planned to be open and operating by this January.

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