Grants available to Illinois schools serving children
displaced by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita
President Bush signs Hurricane Education
Recovery Act into law
Springfield, Ill. Illinois public school districts
may now apply for grants to help offset costs incurred
while educating and assisting children displaced by Hurricanes
Katrina and Rita last year. Governor Rod Blagojevich ordered
Illinois schools to open their doors to students displaced
by the hurricanes and more than 1,000 evacuees from the
storm-damaged areas enrolled in Illinois schools.
On December 30, 2005, President Bush signed into law
the Hurricane Education Recovery Act. The legislation
authorizes three new grant programs to assist school districts
and schools in meeting the educational needs of students
displaced by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The program
also helps schools that were closed as a result of the
hurricanes to reopen as quickly and effectively as possible.
Parents/guardians of displaced students enrolled in public
school districts in Illinois do not need to take any
However, parents/guardians of displaced children attending
recognized nonpublic (private) schools (listing
in Illinois must submit an application form to the public
school district in which they currently reside or are
temporarily staying. Application forms are available at:
Relief grants for nonpublic students will initially be
paid to the local public school district. The local public
school district must then provide those funds to Emergency
Impact Aid Accounts administered by the registered nonpublic
school in which the displaced student is (or was) enrolled.
For more information regarding the rights of displaced
students in nonpublic schools, please see the Hurricane
Education Recovery Act at: http://www.isbe.net/katrina/Hurr_Educ_Recov_Act_0106.pdf.
The Hurricane Education Recovery Act provides financial
support to schools of up to $6,000 per student and $7,500
per student served under the Individuals with Disabilities
Education Act (IDEA).
Details of the Hurricane Education Recovery Act include:
- Public school districts will be eligible for grants
based on the number of students displaced by Hurricane
Katrina or Rita who were enrolled in both public and
registered nonpublic schools within their boundaries
on four specific count dates: October 1, 2005; December
1, 2005; February 1, 2006; and April 1, 2006.
- All affected public school districts must submit the
Elementary And Secondary Education Hurricane Relief
Program Application By Local Educational Agencies For
Emergency Impact Aid For Displaced Students And Assistance
For Homeless Children And Youth form available online
- Public school districts will detail enrollments for
the following four categories:
- public students without disabilities;
- public students with disabilities;
- nonpublic students without disabilities; and
- nonpublic students with disabilities.
- The initial public school district application
will include the enrollment counts for October 1
and December 1, 2005. The enrollments for February
1 and April 1, 2006 will be submitted at a later
date as either an application amendment, supplement
or follow-up report.
- Registered nonpublic schools must inform parents/guardians
of displaced students enrolled in their schools of the
availability of the impact aid.
- Public school districts will receive information regarding
nonpublic students from the parents/guardians of the
- Parents/guardians of displaced students enrolled
in registered nonpublic schools must submit an Application
By Parent or Guardian For Emergency Impact Aid On
Behalf of Students Displaced By Hurricane Katrina
Or Hurricane Rita And Who Are Attending A Nonpublic
School, available online at: http://www.isbe.net/katrina/Hurr_Rel_Par_App_NonPublic.pdf.
On this form, the parent/guardian requests that
the public school district make payments to an Emergency
Impact Aid Account on behalf of the student
and certifies that the student is a displaced
student and was enrolled in the nonpublic school
prior to December 30, 2005.
- The registered nonpublic school in which the students
are enrolled must complete a Certification By
Nonpublic Schools For Emergency Impact Aid For Displaced
Students, available online at: http://www.isbe.net/katrina/Hurr_Relief_nonpub_sch_cert.pdf.
- By signing this Certification, the nonpublic school
certifies that the displaced student was enrolled
in the school on the designated count date and that
payments to Emergency Impact Aid Accounts will be
used only for the purposes permitted by the legislation.
- The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will
submit a completed application for impact aid to the
United States Department of Education (USDE) detailing
the following for each count date:
- the number of displaced students enrolled in public
- the number of displaced students enrolled in registered
nonpublic schools; and
- a breakdown of those students with and without
disabilities in each of the two categories above.
- The USDE will then make four separate formula grants
to ISBE based on the four counts ISBE reports.
- The timelines for the initial application process
are very tight. The USDE must publish a Federal Register
notice, which it intends to do by January 12. Public
school districts will then have only 14 days from the
publication date to submit applications to ISBE. ISBE
will then have only seven days to submit its application
The USDE plans to provide more information soon regarding
the application process. ISBE will post that information
as soon as it becomes available. For more information
contact Darren Reisberg, ISBEs Deputy General Counsel,
at 312-814-2223 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.