August 19, 2019
Dear Chief State School Officers and Institution of Higher Education Leaders:
We are pleased to share an update with you regarding the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act (Disaster Supplemental) that was signed into law by President Donald J. Trump on June 6, 2019. The law provides $165 million for education-related disaster recovery activities in response to Hurricanes Florence and Michael, Typhoon Mangkhut, Super Typhoon Yutu and wildfires, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions occurring in calendar year 2018 and tornadoes and floods occurring in calendar year 2019 in those areas for which a major disaster or emergency has been declared under section 401 or 501 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5170 and 5191).
The purpose of these resources is to assist elementary and secondary schools and institutions of higher education (IHEs) to return to their full capabilities as quickly and effectively as possible. This letter describes each of the four programs the Department of Education (Department) will implement: Immediate Aid to Restart School Operations, Temporary Emergency Impact Aid for Displaced Students, Emergency Assistance to Institutions of Higher Education, and Project School Emergency Response to Violence. The Department believes that, collectively, these four programs will provide critical, flexible support to meet the full range of recovery-related needs of all eligible applicants with minimal administrative burden.
(1) Immediate Aid to Restart School Operations (Restart)
This program makes awards to eligible State educational agencies (SEAs), which in turn provide assistance or services to local educational agencies (LEAs) and non-public schools, to help defray expenses related to the restart of operations in, the reopening of, and the re-enrollment of students in public or non-public elementary and secondary schools that serve an area affected by a covered disaster or emergency. Awards will be based on available funding, the number of applicants, and impact data received from eligible applicants.
(2) Temporary Emergency Impact Aid for Displaced Students (Emergency Impact Aid)
This program awards Emergency Impact Aid funding to SEAs for subgrants to LEAs that reimburse the costs of educating students enrolled in public schools and non-public elementary and secondary schools (including charter schools) who were displaced by a covered disaster or emergency during school year 2018-2019.
The Department will make quarterly payments to SEAs based on quarterly counts of displaced students enrolled in public schools and non-public schools. SEAs will make payments to LEAs for the costs of educating public and non-public students, based on those counts.
(3) Emergency Assistance to Institutions of Higher Education (IHE)
This program provides emergency assistance to IHEs and students attending IHEs in areas directly affected by a covered disaster or emergency for activities authorized under the Higher Education Act of 1965. These program funds will be allocated based on actual costs incurred or estimated costs for specifically authorized program activities.
(4) Project School Emergency Response to Violence (Project SERV)
This program funds education-related services to help LEAs and IHEs recover from a violent or traumatic event, such as a natural disaster, in which the learning environment has been disrupted. Funds may support services for impacted students who attend non-public schools.
More information about application availability will be shared with you in the near future. To learn more about eligibility, a general list of disaster declarations and emergency declarations can be found at https://www.fema.gov/disasters. Please note that if you have immediate, documented needs under the Restart program, you may qualify for an initial Restart award prior to completion of the formal application process. If you have any questions, please contact Meredith Miller, the Director of the Disaster Recovery Unit at (202) 401-8368 or by email at Meredith.Miller@ed.gov.
We know that recovering from natural disasters and restoring the learning environment for students, families, and teachers is challenging, complex work and are pleased that Congress and the President have provided additional resources to help you reach that goal. We look forward to working with you to deliver those resources as expeditiously as possible.
Frank T. Brogan Robert King
Assistant Secretary for Assistant Secretary for
Elementary and Secondary Education Postsecondary Education