Schools could get millions for students forced out by hurricanes

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Missouri schools could receive up to $6 million from the federal government to help cover their costs for educating students displaced by the Gulf Coast hurricanes last fall, state education officials said Monday.

The state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education said schools -- public and private -- are to receive up to $6,000 per student they took on because of the hurricanes, under a federal bill meant to help with hurricane recovery efforts. For those needing special education services, the amount is $7,500.

Exactly how much money schools receive depends on how much of the academic year a child attends the Missouri school, said Craig Rector, who handles several federal grant programs for the department.

The agency said it found that about 120 of the state's 524 school districts accepted 1,152 students from the Gulf Coast just after hurricanes Katrina and Rita struck, but that the number dropped to 998 by December. Fewer than 75 needed special education help.

In addition, 35 private and parochial schools reported teaching about 60 displaced students.

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