U.S. DOE awards HIDOE more than $2M in emergency grant funds to support Maui schools

14-Mar-2024

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded the Hawai‘i State Department of Education (HIDOE) a more than $2 million grant to help address the acute needs of students and educators who were directly impacted by the Maui wildfires.

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded the Hawai‘i State Department of Education (HIDOE) a more than $2 million grant to help address the acute needs of students and educators who were directly impacted by the Maui wildfires.

The HIDOE applied for and was awarded a School Emergency Response to Violence — or Project SERV — grant, which provides short-term education-related services for school districts to help with recovery from a violent or traumatic event in which the learning environment has been disrupted.

The total grant award amount is $2,199,146, and is one of the largest Project SERV grants awarded for a natural disaster.

“Too many communities across our country are reeling from all-too-frequent environmental disasters — and that loss and trauma carry over to our schools, educators, students, and families. Today’s announcement builds on the efforts President Biden and his entire administration have taken to support the people of Maui affected by last summer’s catastrophic wildfires and will provide much-needed assistance as they recover and look forward to a brighter future,” U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said in a statement.

The funds will be used for services incurred as a direct result of the wildfires that cannot be covered by any other additional sources of funding. 

"We are deeply grateful for the support provided by the Biden-Harris Administration and the U.S. Department of Education. This substantial funding will enable us to continue our vital work in helping our students, educators and communities recover from the devastating Maui wildfires," said HIDOE Superintendent Keith Hayashi. "We will leverage this federal grant funding to help us rebuild, heal, and create safer, more resilient learning environments by investing in such critical areas as mental health personnel, trauma-recovery services training, summer academic counselors and student transportation."

Two geographic areas impacted by the fires will be targeted for services: 

A total of 1,593 students were either living in the burn zone, displaced, or under a water advisory as a direct result of the wildfires. Additionally, data from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confirms that a staggering 63% of the active student population comes from a home that submitted a claim.

The HIDOE expects to implement the grant over an 18-month timeline, with mental health services planned for between Jan. 1, 2024 and June 30, 2025. Students in impacted schools will be screened and those schools and students with the most severe needs will receive services as needed based on assessment. Additional time will be needed for hiring staff and to address the large number of schools and students impacted by the disaster.

Progress reports on the Department's efforts to reopen the Lahaina schools and provide for the health and well-being of students and staff can be found at go.hidoe.us/LahainaSchoolsProgressReport.


How do I...?

Go

View all FAQ's

Tweets