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Katrina hits Louisiana schools hard

Teachers told to apply for jobs in other districts

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BATON ROUGE, Louisiana (CNN) -- Hurricane Katrina displaced one-quarter of the teachers in the New Orleans area and several districts will have to rebuild, Louisiana's education chief said.

State schools Superintendent Cecil J. Picard posted the results of a parish-by-parish survey of hurricane damage on the state Department of Education's Web site.

"It's clear from these damage reports that several of our districts will have to completely rebuild the majority of their schools and I will help them in any way I can," Picard said.

He urged parents with children who had attended schools in Orleans, Plaquemines and St. Bernard parishes to enroll them in schools where they found shelter from the hurricane. He advised displaced teachers to seek jobs in areas where they are staying as well.

The Department of Education placed a full page ad in Louisiana newspapers on Friday instructing teachers how to apply for jobs elsewhere in the state. The state estimates 12,000 teachers have been displaced -- nearly 4,500 of them in Orleans and St. Bernard parishes.

The ad, titled "Katrina's kids need teachers," said jobs are available in districts that are enrolling displaced students.

The Department of Education gave a parish-by-parish breakdown of hurricane damaged schools:

  • Orleans Parish: Only eight schools out of 126 have been inspected. They have been damaged but are usable. The eight are in the West Bank area.
  • Plaquemines Parish: Six of the nine schools have been "completely flooded" and Katrina blew the roof off a wing at one school.
  • St. Bernard Parish: Officials believe all 15 schools are under water and have suffered extensive damage. Authorities in St. Bernard and Plaquemines can't say when they will be able to open schools.
  • Jefferson Parish: Nine schools were severely damaged and can't be used, 11 will need repairs and 37 have little or no damage. Of the 84 schools, 57 have been inspected. Officials hope to reopen some schools on October 3.
  • St. Charles Parish: One school had minor roof damage over the cafeteria and auditorium but can be used safely. No date has been set to reopen the 19 schools.
  • St. Tammany Parish: Five schools have been badly damaged and can't be used. The district said 2,600 students who attend those schools will be taken in by others in the district when it reopens on October 3.
  • Washington Parish: All nine of schools were damaged and three need major repairs. Schools reopen on September 19.
  • City of Bogalusa: The central office was destroyed and the 10 schools received "some damage." Officials hope to reopen school by October 3.
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