DeVos Announces Federal Aid for Schools Impacted by Severe Weather

The federal assistance will be used to assist K-12 schools and higher education institutes affected by recent hurricanes and wildfires.

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced on Wednesday that federal assistance will be provided to students and schools impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria and the 2017 California wildfires.

The $2.7 billion budget, authorized by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, will be used to help K-12 school districts and higher education institutes in recovery efforts.

“The long road to recovery continues, but these funds should provide vital support to schools and institutions to help them return to their full capabilities as quickly and effectively as possible,” said DeVos.  “I continue to be inspired every day by the dedication shown by educators, administrators and local leaders to getting students’ lives back to normal.”

The following programs will be launched using the federal assistance:

  • Aid to Restart School Operation
    • The Department has been authorized to award funds to eligible state educational agencies, including those in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Puerto Rico, South Caroline, Texas and the U.S. Virgin Islands. SEAs will then provide services to local educational agencies to help with costs related to the restart of operations and re-enrollment of elementary and secondary students in affected areas.
  • Emergency Impact Aid for Displaced Students
    • SEAs will provide assistance to LEAs for the cost of educating students enrolled in public, charter and private schools who were displaced by the hurricanes during the 2017-2018 school year and the 2017 California wildfires.
  • Assistance for Homeless Children and Youth
    • Congress has allocated $25 million for additional grants to SEAs for LEAs to assist homeless students displaced by these natural disasters.
  • Emergency Assistance to Institutions of Higher Education
    • Congress appropriated $100 million for this program, which will provide emergency assistance to higher education institutions and their students in areas directly affected by the covered disasters.
  • Defraying Costs of Enrolling Displaced Students in Higher Education
    •  $75 million has been appropriated for this program, which will provide payments to IHEs to help defray unexpected expenses associated with enrolling displaced students.

The Department will soon be providing application packages and technical assistance at https://www.ed.gov/disasterrelief.

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