State Superintendent Mark Johnson announced today that an additional $35 million has been awarded to school districts affected by Hurricane Florence, meaning all $60 million appropriated by the General Assembly on Oct. 15 as part of the Hurricane Florence Disaster Recovery Fund has been distributed to schools. Funding in the first round of awards, announced Oct. 16 and totaling $25 million, was focused on assisting districts in reopening closed schools. Monday, districts learned of the awards in this final round, which total $35 million and are intended to again assist districts with reopening closed schools as well as covering the costs already incurred to reopen schools, with a priority given to districts that have depleted or encumbered their local funds.
“People in most of North Carolina are astonished to learn that we still have students out of school from Hurricane Florence,” Johnson said. “Educators and staff have worked very hard to get students’ lives back to normal, and we are happy to provide this funding in such a short turnaround time to alleviate some of their financial worries and concerns.”
The funding was distributed based on district needs submitted to DPI regarding incurred or estimated expenses, fund balances, among other considerations. See below.
More than 160,000 students in North Carolina public schools missed 10 or more days of school due to the storm and the subsequent flooding, and some students in Onslow and Robeson counties are still not back in school. President Donald Trump declared 28 North Carolina counties as federal disaster areas; school districts in those counties educate more than 370,000 students.
In addition, 5,368 students have been declared homeless under the federal McKinney-Vento Act, and DPI School Nutrition staff estimate that 50,000 students in federally declared disaster counties have benefited from a waiver DPI sought and obtained from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that allows schools to provide meals at no cost to all students during the disaster recovery phase.
|DISTRICT||INITIAL FUNDS ($25 MM)||ADDITIONAL FUNDS ($34 MM)|
|Brunswick County Schools||-||$3,000,000|
|Carteret County Schools||-||$12,419,394|
|Columbus County Schools||-||$1,553,432|
|Craven County Schools||$3,521,127||$2,612,291|
|Duplin County Schools||$3,521,127||$1,478,873|
|Jones County Schools||-||$17,010|
|Lee County Schools||-||$80,000|
|New Hanover County Schools||-||$4,000,000|
|Onslow County Schools||$10,563,380||$4,000,000|
|Pamlico County Schools||-||$1,750,000|
|Pender County Schools||$5,985,915||$2,289,000|
|Robeson County Schools||$1,408,451||$1,800,000|
About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 160 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.