Biden-Harris Administration Delivers Over $2 Million in Emergency Funds to Support Maui Schools

Biden-Harris Administration Delivers Over $2 Million in Emergency Funds to Support Maui Schools

March 14, 2024

The Biden-Harris Administration today announced the U.S Department of Education (Department) is providing a Project School Emergency Response to Violence (Project SERV) grant to the Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) to support recovery from wildfires that devastated the island of Maui in August 2023. HIDOE was awarded $2,199,146, one of the largest Project SERV grants awarded for a natural disaster.

Authorized by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, Project SERV provides short-term funding for schools that have experienced a violent or traumatic crisis, including weather-related natural disasters, to assist in restoring a safe environment conducive to learning.

“Too many communities across our country are reeling from all-too-frequent environmental disasters—and that loss and trauma carry over to our schools, educators, students, and families. Today’s announcement builds on the efforts President Biden and his entire administration have taken to support the people of Maui affected by last summer’s catastrophic wildfires and will provide much-needed assistance as they recover and look forward to a brighter future,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona.

The Project SERV grant awarded to HIDOE will cover 18 months of education recovery and support services and activities such as mental health personnel, trauma-recovery services training, summer academic counselors, relief staff, student transportation funding, and support for local nonpublic schools.

On August 8, 2023, catastrophic wildfires devastated the island of Maui. The wildfires caused loss of life, loss of housing, damage and destruction to public and private buildings -- including schools, evacuations, extended power outages and unsafe air quality. In all, over 2,200 structures were destroyed, including King Kamehameha III Elementary School. In addition to supporting Maui schools with this Project SERV grant, the Department has actively participated in a FEMA-funded Hawaii Wildfires Interagency Recovery Mission.

Since the onset of this tragedy, the Biden-Harris Administration has provided hundreds of millions of dollars in federal grants and disaster loans to support response and recovery efforts, while hundreds of personnel from across dozens of federal departments and agencies continue working with state and local partners on the ground to support Maui as it continues its long-term recovery.

Click here for more information on how the Biden-Harris Administration continues to support survivors and affected communities through a whole-of-government response and recovery effort.