December 7, 2005
Contacts: Chad Colby|
U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings today released the following statement applauding the release of $90 million in grant relief money from the Bush/Clinton Katrina Fund:
"The announcement today by former Presidents Bush and Clinton exemplifies our nation's spirit of unity and compassion. Their generosity and dedication in establishing this fund has been more than matched by the overwhelming response of Americans, who have dug deep to help their neighbors in need.
"Hurricane Katrina stripped the Gulf Coast region of even its most basic and essential services, shutting down hundreds of schools and displacing hundreds of thousands of students. One-third of the grant funds, $30 million, will go toward repairing or replacing buildings and equipment at institutions of higher learning. It will also support the faculty and staff who have seen their lives interrupted by the storm. We cannot allow the accumulated research and hard work of these fine teachers and scholars to be washed away.
"The U.S. Department of Education continues to do its part as well. We are working with states and schools in the region and elsewhere to ensure a minimum of disruption for students. We've held roundtable meetings with education and mental health experts to help children and families recover. We established the Hurricane Help for Schools online clearinghouse, which enables Americans to match their donations to meet schools' most pressing needs. To date, more than 500 matches have been made. And President Bush has proposed an urgently needed education relief package, which we are eager to see Congress approve.
"In this season of giving, the American people have sent a positive and powerful message to the worldour nation will come together in times of need."
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