Senate Passes Harvey Relief Bill for Texas Schools

In: All News   Posted 09/27/2017

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) released the following statement praising the passage of the Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria Education Relief Act of 2017 in the Senate. Video of his remarks about this bill on the Senate floor can be found here.

“Hurricanes Harvey hit Texas right at the start of the school year, causing delays, damage to schools, and difficult circumstances for both teachers and students,” said Sen. Cornyn.  “With this bill, we can help young Americans continue to pursue an uninterrupted education, and continue to deliver on our promise to provide relief to those suffering in the wake of these severe storms.”

The Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria Education Relief Act of 2017 will:

  • Provide the Secretary of Education with the authority to waive federal matching requirements for two campus-based aid programs under the Higher Education Act: the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant program and the Federal Work Study program.  This could affect up to 18 higher education campuses in Texas.
  • Require the Secretary of Education to reallocate any remaining grant funds (up to $17.5 million) to colleges and universities located in hurricane-impacted areas to provide financial aid to students who were harmed by the hurricanes.
  • Restore the equitable distribution to private schools of grants provided to schools to assist recovery efforts following a crisis in the Project School Emergency Response to Violence program.  These grants may be used for activities including mental health assessments, emergency transportation needs, and increased costs for teacher overtime.  This could benefit more than 14,000 campuses in Texas.

Sen. Cornyn visited with Texas Education Agency (TEA) Commissioner Mike Morath last week in Victoria to discuss the storm’s impact on Texas’ local schools and students, as well as the ongoing recovery effort.  They also surveyed storm damage at Aloe Elementary School.