This afternoon, the Texas Education Agency issued a press release (.pdf) that "All federal impact aid sent to Texas to help cover the cost of educating Hurricane Katrina evacuees will be promptly sent to affected school districts and charter schools." There has been significant pressure on TEA for several months to comply with the intent of the Federal Disaster Relief legislation that directed money to school districts on a per student basis for students who were forced to relocate due to the hurricanes. TEA had previously contemplated retaining a portion of the federal funds, something clearly not contemplated by the legislation.
The TEA press release also states
When Congress appropriated $645 million in impact aid to be shared by 49 states, lawmakers had planned to provide $6,000 in federal funding for each regular education student and $7,500 for each student with disability. However, the initial count turned into the U.S. Department of Education by the states shows that districts are educating 157,743 students eligible for this funding, which means funding proration is all but certain. Some Texas congressmen are predicting that about $4,000 per student will ultimately be available.
With approximately 1100 evacuee students in Spring Branch, we could be looking at $4.4 million which will be very helpful as we attempt to meet the educational challenges faced by many of the evacuee students.