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State officials to discuss hurricane Laura's impact on education

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BATON ROUGE - Thought it's only September, Louisiana's students have already endured a year unlike any other. From pandemics that shuttered normal in-person classes to storms that demolished entire communities and once again, put normal life on hold, students have adjusted time and again to a slew of life-changing circumstances. 

That's why education officials are meeting at the State Capitol on Wednesday morning for a focused discussion on Hurricane Laura's impact on all of Louisiana's students, from those enrolled in higher education, to K-12 students.

When the powerful storm made landfall, it tore through communities in multiple parishes including, but not limited to, Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Jefferson Davis and Vernon.

Laura demolished homes, forcing thousands to find temporary shelter elsewhere. In a recent public address, Governor John Bel Edwards announced that over 12,000 individuals impacted by Hurricane Laura are currently unable to live in their homes and find themselves temporary residents of the Louisiana shelter system. This is in addition to about 5,300 Louisianians who are sheltering in Texas.

Among those without access to their hurricane-impacted homes are students who had been attending classes virtually, due to COVID-19 safety guidelines. But now, they may not have access to home internet providers which would allow them to access classes. 

On Wednesday morning, state leaders will discuss solutions to this dilemma and other major education issues caused by Hurricane Laura. 

The Senate House Committee on Education will be joined by representatives from the commission on higher education, representatives from McNeese, the University of Louisiana, as well as a handful of officials from Southwest Louisiana Universities in an effort to assess damage to schools and communities and iron out plans to get students back on track in their educational careers. 

The meeting will begin at 10 a.m.


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