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Crisis Data Management: A Forum Guide to Collecting and Managing Data About Displaced Students
NCES 2010-804
February 2010

Chapter 1. Introduction

The lasting implications of large-scale student displacement

The Southern Education Foundation (SEF) reports that "within two months following (Hurricane) Katrina, as many as 138,000 students were not in school" and 2030,000 elementary and secondary students did not attend school at all in the 200506 school year.

Source: Southern Education Foundation (2007). Education after Katrina: Time for a New Federal Response. Atlanta, GA.

On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina made landfall in Louisiana and Mississippi. Approximately 700 schools were damaged or destroyed and over 370,000 students were displaced. According to the U.S. Department of Education, by late September, every state in the nation had received at least one displaced student and 12 states had received more than a thousand, with Texas and Louisiana enrolling over 45,000. The education community was unprepared to track such a large number of displaced students.

In this age of data-driven decisionmaking, monitoring displaced students requires good planning, effective communications, and high-quality data. School leaders need accurate data to inform student placement, deliver appropriate services, adjust school management practices, allocate disaster-relief funding, and track student performance.