Monday, April 30, 2018

US Department of Education awards almost $600 million for local system recovery

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced almost $600 million in new federal assistance for Puerto Rico under the Immediate Aid to Restart School Operations (K-12 Restart) program. The awards announced today are the first in a multi-phased process designed to provide prompt initial funding while offering subsequent opportunities for eligible States to seek additional assistance through future applications.

“As communities get back on their feet in disaster affected regions, we continue to support them in every way we can,” said Secretary DeVos. “This additional funding will ensure students, teachers and staff have ongoing access to the services they need to fully recover and rebuild.”

The funds awarded under the K-12 Restart program can go to State educational agencies (SEAs) with students and schools impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria as well as the 2017 California wildfires. These SEAs, in turn, will provide assistance or services to local educational agencies (LEAs), including charter schools and private schools, to help defray expenses related to restarting school operations and restoring the normal learning environment for students and families affected by the hurricanes and wildfires.

The Department has made an initial award of $589,170,000 to the Puerto Rico Department of Education (PRDE).  Other SEAs that applied for assistance and received initial awards are the Texas Education Agency ($89,420,000) and the California Department of Education ($14,396,317).

Award amounts were developed based on information provided by the SEAs in their applications, including the number of schools affected as a result of a covered disaster or emergency and how long they were closed.

Congress appropriated a combined amount of approximately $2.5 billion for both the Restart and Emergency Impact Aid for Displaced Students (K-12 Displaced Students) programs. The amounts awarded under each program will be based on demand and specific data received from eligible applicants. The Department released the application for the K-12 Displaced Students program on April 23.


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