Federal Federal File

We Are the World

By Alyson Klein — May 16, 2006 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

At a time when the region hit by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita is clamoring for more aid from the federal government, foreign countries from across the globe have donated some $126 million to the United States for hurricane recovery, and some of it is being used to help rebuild K-12 schools in the Gulf Coast region. Even more has been pledged.

The Department of State gave about $66 million of the foreign aid to the beleaguered Federal Emergency Management Agency and sent about $60.4 million to the Department of Education, which will distribute the money to schools and colleges that suffered the most hurricane damage, said Hudson LaForce, the Education Department’s deputy assistant secretary for planning.

“Schools need help rebuilding classrooms and libraries, buying books, and paying teacher salaries,” he said.

The Education Department is reviewing grant applications from states and colleges and will award the money as soon as possible, said Valerie L. Smith, a department spokeswoman.

The State Department did not rank the foreign donations by amount, but it appears that the $100 million each promised by the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia is among the top pledges. Even countries hit by the late 2004 tsunami pledged aid, including Sri Lanka, which gave $25,000 to the American Red Cross.

Some governments donated directly to educational institutions, particularly to universities. The Persian Gulf nation of Qatar pledged $17.5 million to help rebuild Xavier University, a historically black institution in New Orleans. About $5 million of the gift to Xavier will go toward scholarships for students affected by the hurricanes.

“It’s going to allow us to help those students to finish their educations,” university President Norman C. Francis said in a statement last month. “That’s important because Xavier is the No. 1 producer of African-American graduates in the natural sciences, and those students then go on to get admitted to medical school.”

Some international organizations also made donations. The United Nations Children’s Fund, or UNICEF, contributed enough emergency classroom-supply kits for 18,000 students.

Those kits, called “school-in-a-box,” contain supplies both for students, such as safety scissors, and for their teachers, including a teaching clock.

Related Tags:


School & District Management K-12 Essentials Forum Get a Strong Start to the New School Year
Get insights and actions from Education Week journalists and expert guests on how to start the new school year on strong footing.
Reading & Literacy Webinar A Roadmap to Multisensory Early Literacy Instruction: Accelerate Growth for All Students 
How can you develop key literacy skills with a diverse range of learners? Explore best practices and tips to meet the needs of all students. 
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
College & Workforce Readiness Webinar
Supporting 21st Century Skills with a Whole-Child Focus
What skills do students need to succeed in the 21st century? Explore the latest strategies to best prepare students for college, career, and life.
Content provided by Panorama Education

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Federal Use Your 'Teacher Voice,' Jill Biden Urges in a Push for Political Activism
Voting in the midterms is a critical step educators can take to bolster democracy, the first lady and other labor leaders told teachers.
5 min read
First Lady Jill Biden speaks during the American Federation of Teachers convention, Friday, July 15, 2022, in Boston.
First lady Jill Biden speaks during the American Federation of Teachers convention in Boston.
Michael Dwyer/AP
Federal Federal Initiative Leverages COVID Aid to Expand After-School, Summer Learning
The Education Department's Engage Every Student effort includes partnerships with civic organizations and professional groups.
3 min read
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona speaks at an event on June 2, 2022, at the Department of Education in Washington.
U.S. Secretary of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona speaks at an event at the Department of Education in Washington in June. The department has announced a push for expanded access to after-school and summer learning programs.
Jacquelyn Martin/AP
Federal Restraint and Seclusion, and Disability Rights: Ed. Department Has Work to Do, Audit Finds
The Government Accountability Office releases a checklist of how the U.S. Department of Education is performing on a list of priorities.
4 min read
Flags decorate a space outside the office of the Education Secretary at the Education Department in Washington on Aug. 9, 2017.
Flags decorate a space outside the office of the Education Secretary at the U.S. Department of Education. The Government Accountability Office has released recommended priorities for the Education Department that target special education rights.
Jacquelyn Martin/AP
Federal Biden Administration Boosts Grants for Community Schools, Sharpens Funding Priorities
The Education Department will award $68 million through its Full-Service Community Schools program.
2 min read
First-graders Rhiannon Hanson, left, and Holden Ashbrook make fruit skewers in class at Lincoln Elementary School in Dubuque, Iowa, on Jan. 20, 2022. Project Rooted has partnered with Dubuque Community Schools for a pilot program in which it provides monthly boxes containing local foods and a project to first-grade classrooms.
First-graders Rhiannon Hanson, left, and Holden Ashbrook make fruit skewers at Lincoln Elementary School in Dubuque, Iowa. The U.S. Department of Education is providing grants to high-quality community schools that provide wraparound services like the nutrition programs at Lincoln Elementary.
Jessica Reilly/Telegraph Herald via AP