Six months after Hurricanes Irma and Maria left entire islands completely destroyed, the federal government is giving Puerto Rico $589 million more in federal disaster aid to assist with the recovery process.
The U.S. Department of Education announced Monday that it plans to give a total of $693 million between California, Texas and Puerto Rico following 2017’s devastating disasters, ABC News reports.
While no specific timeline has been shared with the public, the Education Department says these states will receive a total of $2.5 billion in federal grants “eventually.”
The large grant is going to be used to help fund the education of Puerto Rican students, who have experienced harsh whiplash in light of September’s destructive hurricanes. Thousands have left Puerto Rico and many schools are only at 60-percent capacity.
According to ABC, “283 schools are slated to close because of declining student enrollment following Hurricane Maria…There are 319,000 students on the island compared to 346,000 enrolled students as of May 2017.”
The grant will also fund the reconstruction of the island which, in turn, will help shift the island’s economy.
“As communities get back on their feet in disaster-affected regions, we continue to support them in every way we can,” Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said in a statement. “This additional funding will ensure students, teachers and staff have ongoing access to the services they need to fully recover and rebuild.”