Congressman Graves Announces $1.2 Million Grant to Cristo Rey Baton Rouge
Congressman Garret Graves (South Louisiana) announced today that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded a federal grant totaling $1,215,843.12 to Cristo Rey Baton Rouge Franciscan High School. The funds will reimburse Cristo Rey for repairs related to the 2016 flood.
“Schools are the cornerstone of just about every community in America. This is especially true when it comes to disaster recovery,” said Graves. “We’ve worked hard to secure the funds to rebuild flooded schools in EBR, Livingston and Ascension, which is why two days before Thanksgiving, today’s announcement for Cristo Rey is good news. Even better, Cristo Rey is the first school ever to benefit from reform legislation we passed a year ago. But as important as this grant is, I can’t help but note that it’s more than three years overdue. And Cristo Rey, like other area schools, deserve more funding. We can do better. We must do better.”
The Disaster Recovery Reform Act was enacted October 5, 2018, and included the Section 1207 provision authored by Graves to clarify a FEMA policy that costs area schools approximately $40 million in recovery funds. FEMA will deduct $500,000 per “facility” or “system” for public buildings that don’t carry flood insurance, which in the case of schools meant a $500,000 deduction on every maintenance shed, t-building, gymnasium, etc. The Graves legislation modified this deduction to apply per campus, not per building, thereby making schools eligible for enough recovery funds to rebuild. Cristo Rey is the first school to benefit from this provision.