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Florida Department of Education: FEMA is walking back on PPE money promise

Video Credit: WPTV News | West Palm Beach
Published on August 20, 2020 - Duration: 02:55s

Florida Department of Education: FEMA is walking back on PPE money promise

Florida’s Department of Education is allocating $30 million to school districts for PPE, after a spokesperson says FEMA walked back its promise to help.

Investigative Reporter Katie LaGrone reports.

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Florida Department of Education: FEMA is walking back on PPE money promise

FROM FEMA.

FOR MONTHS, SCHOOLSHERE AND AROUND THE COUNTRYWERE TOLD THE FEDERALEMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCYWOULD HELP SCHOOLS PAY FORCRITICAL P-P- E SUPPLIESNEEDED AS STUDENTS ANDTEACHERS RETURN TO CAMPUS.TONIGHT& STATE EDUCATIONLEADERS TALKING*ONL* WITHCONTACT 5 INVESTIGATOR KATIELAGRONE, SAY THAT FEMA IS NOWWALKING BACK THAT PROMISE.<< DAYS AFTER WE WERE FIRST TOREVEAL FLORIDA SCHOOL DISTRICTSBANKING ON FEMA TO HELP PAYFOR PERSONAL PROTECTIVE GEARCOULD BE LEFT HIGH AND DRY& ASPOKESPERSON FROM FLORIDADEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION TELLSUS THATHAPPENED& SCHOOL DISTRICTLEADERSTHEMSELVES& 1:32- IT ISPERPLEXING LEE COUNTY SCHOOLSCFO HADNHER.

THE DISTRICT HAS ALREADYSPENT AT LEAST 3 AND A HALFMILLION DOLLARS ON MASKS,SANITIZERS, WIPES AND OTHERPPEBASIC NECESSITIES ANDANTICIPATES SPENDING UP TO TENMILLION DOLLARS MORE.

WHILETHE DISTRICT MAY HAVE TO DIPINTO FEDERAL CARES ACT MONEYRECEIVED TO HELP OFFSET SOMEOF THE COSTS&IT WAS COUNTINGON FEMA HELPEXPENSES ARE THE RESULT OF ANEMERGENCY AND THESE EXPENSESARE WELL BEYOND EXPENSES THATWE CONSIDERED NORMAL FOR ANYSCHOOL DISTRICT SINCE THESUMMER, THE STATE TOLD FLORIDASCHOOL DISTRICTS FEMA WOULDOFFER REIMBURSEMENTS FOR PPECOSTS& TO DATE, 184 SCHOOLDISTRICTS ACROSS THE COUNTRYHAVE SUBMITTED REQUESTS TOFEMA FOR PPE MONEY& ONLY 3HAVE BEEN APPROVED& WHILE THEFEDERAL AGENCY TELLS US THEYHAVENREQUESTS&EARLIER THIS WEEK, AFEMA SPOKESPERSON TOLD US PPE-WHILE CRITICAL TO REOPENINGSCHOOLS SAFELY&DOES NOTQUALIFY FOR REIMBURSEMENTS.“NORMAL OPERATION OF SCHOOLSAND OTHER PUBLIC FACILITIESARE NOT CONSIDERED EMERGENCYPROTECTIVE MEASURES” IN OTHERWORDS&FEMA MONEY FOR SCHOOLPPE&IS NOT AN OPTION THIS JUHIT OUR RADAR DURING A WEBINARWITH SUPERINTENDENTS EARLIERTHIS WEEK, FLORIDA EDUCATIONLEADERS ALSO SHARED CONFUSIONOVER THE UNEXPECTED ANDAPPARENT SNUB.

FEMA MAY BE INA PLACE WHERE THERESOME INDECISION ON THIS AND WEARE RIGHT HERE WITH YOU TRYINGTO WORK THROUGH THIS.FLORIDAEDUCATION NOW ALLOCATING 30MILLION DOLLARS IN GRANTS TOHELP SCHOOLS PAY FOR THEWAREHOUSE-FILLED BOXES OF PPETHEYSTILL SCRAMBLING TO FIND TMONEY TO PAY FOR.

2:44- IT ISQUITE AN EXPENSIVE ENDEAVORAND AS I SAID ALL OF THESETHINGS ARE WELL OUTSIDE OF THENORMAL OPERATING PROCEDURESAND NORMAL OPERATING EXPENSESTHAT OUR DISTRICT WOULDTYPICALLY INCUR TAG BOTHSENATOR MARCO RUBIO AND RICKSCOTT HAD NOTHING TO SAY ABOUTFEMASCHOOLS& TELLING US THEY AREWORKING WITH SCHOOLS& ANDLOOKING AT OPTIONS TO SUPPORTSTUDENTS AND TEACHERS.

KATIELAGRONE

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