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Cabarrus Magazine

$60 Million Going to NC Schools Affected by Hurricane Florence

Nov 13, 2018 10:02AM ● By Melanie Heisinger

Courtesy of speakermoore.com.

North Carolina State Superintendent Mark Johnson announced last month that the N.C. Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) is distributing $60 million in funding for all public schools that have been affected by Hurricane Florence. These funds are in an emergency capital fund with $25 million from the N.C. Education Lottery fund and $35 million appropriated by the General Assembly.

All of these funds are going towards any needs that school have in the 28 counties that have been designated. State officials unanimously passed the 2018 Hurricane Florence Disaster Recovery Act. DPI will receive an additional $35 million in capital recovery funds to distribute to schools in the affected counties. 

“I am pleased that the legislature and the governor agreed on the funds so quickly,” Johnson said in a press release. “We know the need is great, and we are wasting no time getting these funds to the schools that need them.” 

The funds from the General Assembly were reserved for a rainy day, and the hurricane fit the bill. The governor approved the $25 million dollar transfer, and five schools were selected for the fund to assist in reopening. See the disbursement below. 

 

“Our school leaders have spent millions on remediation, repair, and other capital outlays because of damage from Florence,” Johnson said in the same press release. “These funds will help fill the crucial gap between the needs we know are out there and what federal disaster aid, insurance proceeds, local ability to pay, and other sources will cover. Our goal is to get these remaining funds out of Raleigh as quickly as possible. Time is of the essence as these communities struggle to get back to normal.” 

The districts each stated their needs for the funds, and are receiving what they need according to those needs. Counties like Jones County chose not to reopen two damaged schools, partly because the state awarded the county $15 million a year ago under the state’s Needs-Based Public School Capital Fund program to begin construction of a new K-12 school building. Columbus County will receive $10.6 million for Columbus County Schools and $4.3 million for Whiteville City Schools in Needs-Based grants this year. 
 
One more thing that will also be changing is the was DPI will calculate student membership numbers and its relationship to the regular  $10 billion in funding. The affects fo the hurricane will be taken into account if numbers are dropping. 

Read more about the hurricane funding here.

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