Public Schools In Florence-Devastated Counties To Receive $60 Million
North Carolina public schools damaged by Hurricane Florence will receive $60 million in state emergency funding, the Department of Public Instruction says.
The emergency funding package pulls $25 million from the North Carolina Education Lottery fund and $35 million from a Florence relief package passed by the General Assembly Monday. The money will go toward damaged schools in the 28 counties designated as disaster zones by the President following the storm in September.
State Superintendent Mark Johnson praised the speedy bipartisan work done to approve the funds.
“I am pleased that the legislature and the governor agreed on the funds so quickly,” Johnson said. “We know the need is great, and we are wasting no time getting these funds to the schools that need them.”
The $25 million in lottery money will go to schools that are still closed in Craven, Duplin, Onslow, Pender and Robeson Counties.
According to DPI, the funding doesn’t represent the total amount of damage caused by Florence or the amount of money spent by the school districts for repairs. The 28 counties will receive funding proportional to the cost of the damage in their districts and the amount needed to reopen schools.
“Our school leaders have spent millions on remediation, repair and other capital outlays because of damage from Florence,” Johnson said. “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.”