U.S. Department of Education Awards Louisiana Department of Education up to $1.5 Million to Restore the Learning Environment in School Districts Most Affected by Severe Storms and Flooding

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U.S. Department of Education Awards Louisiana Department of Education up to $1.5 Million to Restore the Learning Environment in School Districts Most Affected by Severe Storms and Flooding

September 16, 2016

The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Safe and Healthy Students is making available to the Louisiana Department of Education a Project School Emergency Response to Violence (SERV) grant up to $1.5 million to support education-related services for six months in school districts hardest hit by recent storms and historic flooding. The widespread damage of the storm and flooding over several days devastated schools, homes and communities.

"The flooding in Louisiana has devastated school buildings and displaced students, teachers and other school personnel," said U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. "This will support the state's recovery efforts as it works to restore the learning environment for students across the state."

King made the announcement today during the "Opportunity Across America" back-to-school bus tour stop in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where he met with students and staff who were greatest impacted by the storm.

Project SERV provides funding for local educational agencies and institutions of higher education that have experienced a significant violent or traumatic event and need resources to respond, recover, and re-establish a safe environment conducive to learning. There are two types of Project SERV awards—Immediate Services and Extended Services. Immediate Services grants, one of which was awarded to the Louisiana Department of Education, provide emergency, short-term assistance to affected school districts or colleges and universities. Extended Services grants assist school districts and colleges and universities in carrying out the long-term recovery efforts that may be needed following a significant, traumatic event. To date, the Office of Safe and Healthy Students has awarded approximately $45 million to 140 grantees, including the Louisiana Department of Education, since the grants program began in 2001.

The Louisiana Department of Education will identify school districts and schools that were hardest hit by the storm. It will use the funds to provide education-related services where the learning environment has been disrupted due to the severe effects of the storm and record flooding. These services may include mental-health assessments, referrals and services; leasing of space to substitute for damaged buildings; emergency transportation; temporary security measures; and overtime pay for teachers, counselors, law enforcement and security officers, and other staff.

To view a list of Project SERV grantees and award amounts, or to learn more about the program, visit http://www2.ed.gov/programs/dvppserv/index.html.