BATON ROUGE, La. – Two grants totaling $3.2 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will help St. John Parish schools recover from Hurricane Isaac, FEMA has announced.
After the late August storm’s flooding severely damaged most of the buildings at the East St. John High School campus in Reserve, the district relocated most students to temporary classrooms at the nearby Leon Godchaux Academy campus.
But without enough classroom space at the academy, students are attending school daily in two, five-hour shifts this semester. On that limited schedule, the 2012-2013 academic year would extend through next summer and into September in order for students to get the required annual instructional time.
FEMA’s $1.4 million grant will provide additional modular classroom units for high school students. More class time is expected to be scheduled each day beginning in January. The school year then may end in July.
“Getting closer to the regular academic calendar is an important part of recovery for the St. John district and community,” said FEMA’s Federal Coordinating Officer Gerard M. Stolar. “These funds will help the district recover costs for adding the temporary classroom space that will help students stay on schedule.”
FEMA’s second grant for $1.8 million will help pay cleanup costs at the damaged high school campus and at Lake Pontchartrain Elementary School in LaPlace. Both schools sustained extensive flooding during the storm.
The FEMA grants will pay the federal share of the St. John school district’s eligible costs for the work. Under a cost-sharing formula, FEMA reimburses the state for 75 percent of the total costs, while the state and/or applicant cover the remaining 25 percent.
Once FEMA pays the funds to the state of Louisiana, their management, including disbursement to local school districts and organizations performing services, is the responsibility of the state. The obligated funds are a portion of nearly $121.8 million in total Public Assistance recovery funds obligated to the state since the Aug. 29 declaration for Hurricane Isaac.
For more information on Louisiana disaster recovery, click www.fema.gov/disaster/4080 or www.gohsep.la.gov. You can follow FEMA on Twitter at www.twitter.com/femaregion6 or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FEMA. Also visit our blog at www.fema.gov/blog.
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