Secretary DeVos Announces New Federal Disaster Assistance for the U.S. Virgin Islands

Archived Information

Secretary DeVos Announces New Federal Disaster Assistance for the U.S. Virgin Islands

May 15, 2018

WASHINGTON - U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced today a total of approximately $13 million in new federal assistance for the U.S. Virgin Islands 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 the U.S. Virgin Islands continue to recover from Hurricane Irma and Maria, this additional funding will help them restore a safe and healthy learning environment,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. “I look forward to the Department’s continued work with Commissioner McCollum and her team as well as Governor Mapp as we work together 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 U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Education (VIDE) was made in the amount of $13,100,000. The Department has made initial awards to three additional SEAs: California Department of Education (CDE), Puerto Rico Department of Education (PRDE) and Texas Education Agency (TEA). 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 25.

For additional information on the programs for K-12 schools and school districts, please contact Paul Kesner at