HARTFORD, Conn. — The State Department of Education today announced grants totaling $250,000 will be distributed to seven local school districts to help offset expenses incurred as a result of Hurricane Sandy. The Bridgeport, Guilford, Milford, New Fairfield, North Haven, and New Haven school districts, as well as LEARN, a Regional Educational Service Center serving southeastern Connecticut, will receive awards to assist with costs related to additional education-related services associated with storm recovery. Funding is provided by the United States Department of Education, through Project SERV (School Emergency Response to Violence).
“In the face of extraordinary challenges due to severe weather during the past year, our school systems have demonstrated admirable resilience and determination, enabling student learning to continue with as few disruptions as possible,” said Connecticut State Department of Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor. “The coordination of efforts on the local, state, and federal levels ensured synchronized support to expedite the re-opening of schools after Hurricane Sandy. We are grateful for Governor Malloy’s strong and steady leadership during the storm response and recovery and for the U.S. Department of Education’s provision of financial assistance to districts severely impacted by the storm.”
In order to have qualified, local school districts must have been located in one of four counties that received a federal disaster declaration and must have experienced school closures lasting more than three days as a result of the storm. Districts submitted applications to the State Department of Education demonstrating the disruption to learning environments directly caused by Hurricane Sandy. Funds were awarded to all districts that applied, utilizing the entire $250,000 Project SERV Grant.
All costs for educational-related services must have been in addition to normal expenditures that the districts would have expended in the absence of the storm. Eligible expenses might include overtime for teachers, counselors, substitute teachers, or mental health services. Project SERV funds cannot be used to offset construction costs or medical expenses.