On March 16, 2018, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced new federal assistance for students and schools impacted by the October 2017 California wildfires. The California Department of Education received $2 million in Project SERV funds to aid in their recovery efforts.
According to education officials in California at the time, the awards were going to fund portable classrooms, substitute teachers, mental health services, transportation for displaced students and substitute bus drivers.
"Hundreds of schools and thousands of students were impacted by the California wildfires," said Secretary DeVos. "These resources will help ensure students, teachers and staff have access to the services they need as they continue to recover."
"Many of our districts suffered widespread school closures, massive displacement of students and staff, and devastating losses from these horrific fires," said California State Superintendent Tom Torlakson. "We are extremely grateful for the U.S. Department of Education's support. These funds will assist in the ongoing recovery for these schools and help provide a continued sense of safety and security."
In general, Project SERV funds may be used for activities that help an impacted Local Education Agency (LEA) manage the practical problems caused by a traumatic event; help the LEA and schools provide a sense of safety and security; or help address specific needs of those individuals directly affected by an event.