California Receives $14 Million Grant for Schools Affected by Wildfires - NBC Bay Area
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California Receives $14 Million Grant for Schools Affected by Wildfires

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    WRIGHTWOOD, CA - AUGUST 17: The ruins of a burned rural home are seen at the Blue Cut Fire on August 17, 2016 near Wrightwood, California.. An unknown number of homes and businesses have burned and more than 80,000 people are under evacuation orders as the out-of-control wildfire spread beyond 30,000 acres and threatens to expand into the ski resort town of Wrightwood. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

    The California Department of Education will receive a federal emergency grant of more than $14 million to help schools affected by the North Bay wildfires last year as well as ones in Southern California, department officials said Tuesday.

    The North Bay wildfires in October closed nearly 600 schools with about 260,000 students, while nearly 135,000 students were displaced in December wildfires in Ventura, Los Angeles and Orange counties, according to the Department of Education.

    The $14.4 million Immediate Aid to Restart School Operations grant is meant to defray costs related to the restarting of schools and re-enrolling of students affected by natural disasters.

    Schools can use the funds to repair fire damage, remove debris and pay for mandatory environmental cleanup, department officials said.

    "I want to thank the federal Department of Education for recognizing the need to help our schools recover from the terrible fires and thank educators for diligently pursuing the funding," state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said in a statement.

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