USDOE announces recovery assistance for students, schools impacted by natural disasters

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (U.S. Department of Education) — U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has announced new federal assistance for students and schools in 13 states and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands impacted by Hurricanes Florence and Michael, Typhoon Mangkhut, Super Typhoon Yutu and other natural disasters in 2018 and 2019.

The $155 million in grant funds will be used to aid a variety of education-related disaster recovery efforts. Funds can be used for activities such as mental health and safety programs for students and staff, replacing instructional materials lost during storms, additional transportation costs for students, faculty and staff salaries, and debris removal and mold mitigation from schools.

“We know that full recovery from natural disasters can be a long and difficult process for everyone involved,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. “Through our various grant programs, we will continue to come alongside state and local leaders and assist in their efforts to rebuild, recover and allow the learning process to continue for students and educators who may still be dealing with the trauma of these difficult events.”

The new funding supports three grant programs administered by the Department’s Disaster Recovery Unit in the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Higher Education division of the Office of Postsecondary Education:

• Immediate Aid to Restart School Operations grants are awarded to state education agencies to provide assistance or services related to the restart of operations in, the reopening of, and the re-enrollment of students in public and non-public elementary and secondary schools that serve an area affected by a covered disaster or emergency.

• Temporary Emergency Impact Aid for Displaced Students grants are awarded to state education agencies to disperse to help districts pay the extra costs of providing education to students displaced by natural disasters.

• Emergency Assistance to Institutions of Higher Education grant awards are provided to institutions of higher education to mitigate the effects of a covered disaster or emergency, including renovation or reconstruction of damaged facilities. Priority is given to projects that support students who are, or are at risk of becoming, homeless in the aftermath of a natural disaster.
Grant amounts are decided based on the impact data and estimated or actual recovery costs provided by applicants, as well as the number of applicants.

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