School Climate & Safety Series

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita

The School Impact

The school year for students, teachers, and education staff in New Orleans, Alabama, and Mississippi has been decimated by the effects of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Follow this constantly updated Education Week series as we cover the hurricanes’ impact at the district, state, and federal levels.Join our ongoing discussion, “How Has the Hurricane Affected You?”

A sign alerts employees about picking up their checks at school district headquarters in Gulfport, Miss. Many teachers who fled their communities awaited word about how they would get paid.
A sign alerts employees about picking up their checks at school district headquarters in Gulfport, Miss. Many teachers who fled their communities awaited word about how they would get paid.
Sevans/Education Week
School Climate & Safety Forced Out by Storm, Teachers Seek News of Job Openings, Pay
When Komal Bhasin heard that her New Orleans school was shutting down in preparation for a hurricane, she anticipated having an extra, leisurely day for lesson planning. Instead, the teacher fled to Huntsville, Ala., to escape the wrath of Hurricane Katrina.
Joetta L. Sack, March 7, 2008
5 min read
Federal Congress Approves Additional Hurricane Aid for Schools
Congress has given final approval to a measure that provides $235 million to schools educating students displaced by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and extends the deadline for schools to decide how to spend the money.
Alyson Klein, June 19, 2006
3 min read
Federal White House Katrina Report Praises Ed. Dept.’s Response
A White House report examining the federal government’s response to Hurricane Katrina that was critical of several federal agencies lauded the Department of Education for several of its actions after the storm.
Christina A. Samuels, February 28, 2006
1 min read
Federal Hurricanes’ Aftermath Is Ongoing
As students displaced by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita continue returning to their home school districts in Louisiana and Mississippi, tens of thousands remain scattered elsewhere in those states, in nearby states, and across the nation.
Linda Jacobson, January 31, 2006
7 min read
Federal First Lady, Spellings Tour Gulf Coast Schools
First lady Laura Bush and U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings dropped into three schools along the Gulf Coast last week to encourage students, parents, and educators in a region where many people still cannot return to their homes or workplaces.
January 31, 2006
2 min read
The McDonogh 15 Creative Arts School, a pre-K-6 school in New Orleans' French Quarter, suffered wind damage during Hurricane Katrina and is still closed. But other schools have opened.
The McDonogh 15 Creative Arts School, a pre-K-6 school in New Orleans' French Quarter, suffered wind damage during Hurricane Katrina and is still closed. But other schools have opened.
Jessica L. Tonn/Education Week
Federal New Orleans Charter Network Gets Under Way
As students have returned to Alice M. Harte Elementary School here over the past month, they’ve found their old school far from the way they left it on the last school day before Hurricane Katrina devastated much of the city.
Jessica L. Tonn, January 17, 2006
7 min read
School & District Management New Orleans Panel Rethinks School System
Four months after Hurricane Katrina wiped out large sections of New Orleans, an early outline of a newly configured school system is beginning to emerge—and it looks unlike any other district.
Catherine Gewertz, January 10, 2006
4 min read
Federal Hurricane Aid is on the Way to Districts, Private Schools
The U.S. Department of Education last week sent out the first installment—more than $250 million—in education aid to states affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, just days after President Bush signed the measure into law.
Erik W. Robelen & Michelle R. Davis, January 10, 2006
7 min read
School & District Management New Orleans Reopens an Elementary School
Children’s voices filled the hallways at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School in New Orleans last week for the first time in three months, as the first regular city public school opened since Hurricane Katrina struck.
Catherine Gewertz, December 6, 2005
3 min read
School Climate & Safety Bond Ratings Another Worry for Gulf Coast Districts
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita have wreaked highly visible havoc on schools in the Gulf Coast region, but their impact in a more esoteric realm—school districts’ bonded debt—is just becoming clear. The picture that emerges could say a lot about those districts’ prospects for recovery.
Andrew Trotter, December 6, 2005
6 min read
Federal Katrina Bill Would Ease School Rules
While school districts still haven’t received any federal education aid from Congress to deal with the effects of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the House has passed a measure that could ease education rules for Gulf Coast schools and others that have enrolled students displaced by the storms.
Michelle R. Davis, November 29, 2005
1 min read
Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., joins Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., at a subcommittee meeting in September to discuss proposals on federal aid to help schools cope with the aftermath of the recent hurricanes.
Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., joins Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., at a subcommittee meeting in September to discuss proposals on federal aid to help schools cope with the aftermath of the recent hurricanes.
File photo by Christopher Powers/Education Week
Federal Landrieu Spices Up Debate on Federal Hurricane Aid
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, which battered the Gulf Coast on Aug. 29 and led to breaches in the levees that protected New Orleans from the waters of Lake Pontchartrain, Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, along with others in the Louisiana congressional delegation, has worked to funnel federal aid to the area for everything from job creation to K-12 education.
Michelle R. Davis, November 29, 2005
8 min read
Education Funding Hurricane-Aid Bill Backed by Boehner Dies in House
When Republicans bring a House budget measure that trims many federal programs, including some in education, to the floor this week, it won’t include a plan to aid schools taking in students displaced by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Michelle R. Davis, November 15, 2005
4 min read
School Climate & Safety Hurricanes Blow Holes in School Revenues
Now that almost all of the school districts that suffered damage from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita have reopened, their leaders are scrambling to find the money to keep the districts solvent.
David J. Hoff, November 15, 2005
6 min read