Biden-Harris Administration Provides Maui Schools with Over $2 Million in Emergency Funds

The Administration of President Biden and Vice President Harris revealed today that the U.S Department of Education (Department) has approved a Project School Emergency Response to Violence (Project SERV) grant for the Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) to assist in the recovery from wildfires that ravaged Maui Island in August 2023. HIDOE has been granted $2,199,146, making it one of the largest Project SERV awards for a natural disaster.

Project SERV, which is authorized by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, offers temporary funding to schools affected by violent or traumatic crises, including weather-related natural disasters, to aid in restoring a secure educational environment.

“Too many communities throughout the nation are grappling with the aftermath of frequent environmental disasters, and the resulting loss and trauma impact our schools, educators, students, and families. Today’s announcement is a continuation of the actions taken by President Biden and his administration to assist the people of Maui in their recovery from last year’s devastating wildfires, providing essential aid as they rebuild and chart a brighter future,” stated U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona.

The grant awarded to HIDOE through Project SERV will fund 18 months of educational recovery and support services, including mental health personnel, trauma recovery training, academic counselors for the summer, relief staff, student transportation funding, and support for local nonpublic schools.

On August 8, 2023, Maui Island was struck by catastrophic wildfires that resulted in loss of life, housing, and damage to public and private structures, including schools, causing evacuations, prolonged power outages, and hazardous air quality. Over 2,200 buildings were destroyed, among them King Kamehameha III Elementary School. Apart from aiding Maui schools with the Project SERV grant, the Department has actively engaged in the FEMA-funded Hawaii Wildfires Interagency Recovery Mission.

Since the outset of this calamity, the Biden-Harris Administration has furnished hundreds of millions of dollars in federal grants and disaster loans to support the response and recovery efforts, with personnel from numerous federal departments and agencies collaborating with state and local partners on the ground to assist Maui in its long-term recovery.

For more information on the ongoing support provided by the Biden-Harris Administration to survivors and impacted communities through a comprehensive governmental response and recovery initiative, visit here.

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