- $2 million dollars from the Florida Disaster Fund have been allocated to be used to assist teachers that were personally impacted by the landfall of Hurricane Ian
- The funds will be distributed through local education foundations in Lee, Charlotte, Sarasota, Collier, DeSoto, and Hardee counties
- The awarded funds can be used to cover damage repairs to personal property like homes and cars
- Each awarded county will receive between $225,000 and $500,000 to administer to teachers
Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday announced that he is allocating $2 million from the Florida Disaster Fund to be used to help teachers that were impacted by Hurricane Ian’s landfall.
The funding will be awarded to the six hardest-hit counties — Lee, Charlotte, Sarasota, Collier, DeSoto, and Hardee counties — through local education foundations, according to the governor.
“There are different needs right now. There are needs of home repair, there are needs of temporary shelter, and there are needs of reliable transportation,” said DeSantis. “There are a whole host of things that need to be done, and this will provide some help in that regard.”
Lee County is set to receive $500,000, Charlotte, Sarasota, and Collier counties will receive $350,000 each, and DeSoto and Hardee counties will be given $225,000.
“These donations will help each district’s teachers, particularly those who were displaced, and their different needs right now,” DeSantis continued.
Storm damage rendered several schools in coastal areas unable to reopen, leading to temporary mergers between schools capable of hosting. County officials state that they expect the necessary mergers to continue for “at least a few more months” as damage assessments continue.
In total, the Florida Disaster Fund has raised more than $50 million. The fund is the state’s official private fund established to assist communities in Florida as they respond to and recover during times of emergency or disaster.
In the wake of Hurricane Ian, companies like Verizon, HCA Healthcare, and T-Mobile have all made contributions to the fund, among others.
Last week, all of Florida’s public higher education institutions resumed classes and campuses remain operational.
Most of Florida’s 40 public state colleges and universities shuttered in preparation for the incoming storm. While many were lucky to get by unscathed, some campuses sustained damage, leading to class postponements through last week.
Efforts to reopen education institutions included Florida Education Commissioner Manny Diaz, Jr. organizing Florida College System presidents into a hurricane response strike group to facilitate quick responses to emergency needs, and dozens of university and college students volunteering to help reopen their schools.