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DeSantis: Southwest Florida teachers, schools to receive $1M in hurricane relief

The governor said the money would be spread across Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Lee and Sarasota counties.

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Southwest Florida teachers and schools impacted by Hurricane Ian will receive $1 million from the Florida Disaster Fund, Governor Ron DeSantis announced during a news conference Thursday morning.

The governor said the money would be spread across Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Lee and Sarasota counties. He noted this was the second round of funding sent to schools and teachers, the first round being in October with $2 million

"Getting the schools back as quickly as they did is a huge, huge benefit," DeSantis said, in part. "So, this has helped everything from helping with food, gas, baby supplies. It's helped with home repairs. It's helped with transportation challenges."  

The governor said it's been around 112 days since the storm and the Florida Division of Emergency Management have obligated more than $500 million in funding.

DeSantis also announced that $13.8 million in grant funding through the Department of Children and Families would go toward additional crisis counseling and mental health support. 

"This is going to help us make sure that anybody that needs help whether it to advise how to rebuild or somebody that's really really struggling in more profound ways that they will be able to get help," DeSantis said. 

On Wednesday in Daytona Beach Shores, the governor announced that 16 counties across Florida damaged by hurricanes Ian and Nicole would receive $100 million for beach erosion projects. 

The reward will help restore the sand to beaches along Florida's coastline. In a statement, the governor said that "placing sand as quickly as possible is essential in order to avoid additional damages to public and private infrastructure from subsequent storms and erosion."

DeSantis said the east coast of Florida was heavily affected by back-to-back hits from hurricanes Ian and Nicole. He said counties like Volusia, Lee, Flagler, St. Johns, Brevard and Indian River would receive recovery funds. See the full list of counties here.

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