CORPUS CHRISTI (KIII NEWS) - U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos visited teachers and students in the Coastal Bend Wednesday.
DeVos was in Port Aransas to see firsthand the rebuilding and recovery in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. She was also there to assess how the Department of Education can continue to coordinate with and support Texas schools and students.
"It's just been a pleasure to visit here, and particularly to meet staff, teachers and the students, and to see the way this community has come together in amazing ways to recover from a very difficult and heartbreaking situation," DeVos said.
The Port Aransas area was one of the hardest hit by Hurricane Harvey, leaving the community to come together in an effort to move forward.
"Students have the ability to come back to a routine and to their classrooms, and to the familiar," DeVos said. "Even though it might be in a different location. But their friends, their teachers, are so important to long-term healing that needs to happen."
And there's still a lot of work to do.
"All portable classrooms are improvisations for a period of time," DeVos said. "Getting all facilities back up and running for students to be able attend in their original locations is clearly a big logistical challenge."
The Secretary made it clear that her department understood the longer-term challenges as well.
"Emotional challenges that will continue to be issues with kids and with parents. Parents who are teachers," DeVos said.
DeVos told 3News that the Department of Education has put forward a project grant of $2 million for Texas' immediate problems, and they also have a request with Congress for longer-term financial needs.
"We've also been in regular and constant contact with the governor and education assocation, and all of the folks there, wanting to partner with them in any way we can to clear out any of the impediments that might be imposed at the federal level," DeVos said. "Any impediment to moving on and continuing to rebuild."
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