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DeVos Announces Additional Aid for Students Impacted by Hurricanes and Wildfires

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced additional federal money on Wednesday for K-12 students will be made available for students impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, as well as the California wildfires, last year.

  1. Immediate Aid to Restart School Operations: This "Restart" money is intended "to help defray expenses related to the restart of operations in, the reopening of, and the re-enrollment of students in elementary and secondary schools," the U.S. Department of Education announced in a statement. It covers public schools, including charters, as well as private schools. 
  2. Emergency Impact Aid for Displaced Students: This aid will "provide assistance to LEAs for the cost of educating students enrolled in public schools, including charter schools, and private schools." 
  3. Assistance for Homeless Children and Youth: This money will address the needs of homeless students and youth, with states receiving the grants and making subgrants to districts in turn. The activities must be permitted under the McKinney-Vento Homless Assistance Act. 

Congress has appropriated $2.5 billion combined Immediate Aid to Restart School Operations and the Emergency Impact Aid for Displaced Students, according to the Education Department. The assistance for homeless youth aid has received $25 million. The package is part of the recent budget deal reached by lawmakers earlier this month, which we reported on here. There are also higher education portions of the new disaster-relief funds.

Check out our on-the-ground reporting from about a month ago on Puerto Rico's schools 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 in a statement. "I continue to be inspired every day by the dedication shown by educators, administrators and local leaders to getting students' lives back to normal."

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