On December 30, President Bush signed into law the Defense appropriations bill, which included the Hurricane Education Recovery Act. This Act provided funds for public and private schools that are educating displaced students and schools that were damaged and/or destroyed by Hurricane Katrina or Hurricane Rita.

Section 101 of the Hurricane Education Recovery Act provided funds for the “Immediate Aid to Restart School Operations.” According to the legislative language, these funds may be used for a wide variety of activities including the initial replacement of instructional materials and equipment, including textbooks. Congress intended these funds to be flexible. We have contacted officials at the U.S. Department of Education and they concur with Congressional intent.

If you are in any school that qualifies for these funds, please contact your school administrator to ensure that the needs of the school library are met. If you are told that purchasing materials and/or equipment for school libraries is not an allowable use of funds, contact us immediately . We will provide you with official clarification from the U.S. Department of Education.

Emily Sheketoff

Melanie Anderson