The following is a company-submitted press release and does not necessarily represent the views or opinions of School Planning & Management magazine.

Secretary DeVos Announces New Federal Disaster Assistance for Florida

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced today a total of approximately $84.5 million in new federal assistance for Florida under the Immediate Aid to Restart School Operations (K-12 Restart) program. The award announced today is the first in a multiphase award process designed to provide prompt initial funding while offering subsequent opportunities for additional assistance through future applications.

"As Florida continues to recover from Hurricanes Irma and Maria, the Department is committed to helping officials on the ground restore a safe and healthy learning environment," said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. "We will continue to work closely with Commissioner Stewart and Governor Scott to ensure students and teachers have the resources they need now and in the future."

Under the K-12 Restart program, the Department is authorized to award funds to state educational agencies (SEAs) with students and schools impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria and 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.

This initial award to the Florida Department of Education (FLDoE) was made in the amount of $84.5 million. The Department has made initial awards to four additional SEAs: California Department of Education (CDE), Puerto Rico Department of Education (PRDE), Texas Education Agency (TEA) and the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Education (US VIDE). 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 K-12 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 25.

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