"Following the destruction wrought on the Gulf Coast by Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita, the initial federal response to providing education-related disaster relief was primarily in the form of waivers issued by the Secretary of Education. With the passage of the Department of Defense, Emergency Supplemental Appropriations to Address Hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico, and Pandemic Influenza Act, 2006 (P.L. 109-148, hereafter referred to as FY2006 defense appropriations), $1.6 billion has been appropriated to aid in providing education related disaster relief at the elementary, secondary, and postsecondary levels. This report provides an overview of the waivers that have been granted by the Department of Education in response to the Gulf Coast hurricanes; three public laws that have been enacted, specifically to provide financial relief to postsecondary students and institutions of higher education; and education-related hurricane relief provisions included in FY2006 defense appropriations. For K-12 education, the latter provides several waivers of existing requirements and appropriates $1.4 billion, primarily to restart school operations in affected areas and to provide emergency impact aid grants to schools serving displaced students. For higher education, P.L. 109-148 provides waivers of existing requirements and makes available $200 million to provide assistance under various HEA programs."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33236
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