Two big-picture stories today from Sam Dillon in the New York Times and Steve Wieberg and Greg Toppo in USA TODAY on Katrina’s impact on schools and students. Historians say America’s public schools have not faced challenges this great since the Civil War. “In terms of school systems absorbing kids whose lives and homes have been shattered, what we’re going to watch over the next weeks is unprecedented in American education,” said Jeffrey Mirel, a professor of history and education at the University of Michigan.
Estimates on the number of students displaced by the storm range from well over 200,000, according to the Times, to closer to 300,000 by USA TODAY.
Houston Public Schools are enrolling many of those students. School board member Kevin Hoffman said Houston, Texas’ largest school district, can handle the influx. “This is a Herculean effort,” he said. “But it’s one of the types of things that just falls on your lap and you deal with it.”
Speaking of Houston Public Schools, their Web site has much hurricane-related information for parents, students, teachers, and anyone willing to help.