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TEA matching teachers with needs for evacuees enrolling in schools

By J. Lyn Carl,

Austin, TX –

After manning a hotline and taking more than 200 calls over the long Labor Day weekend dealing with questions from evacuees and school officials regarding enrolling school-age Hurricane Katrina evacuees in Texas public schools, Texas Education Agency officials today, Monday, announced yet another hotline to take questions from Texas teachers. The hotline is being set up to field inquiries from teachers who want to help students and schools impacted by the aftermath of the storm.

In the meantime, the State Board for Educator Certification will meet in a special called-meeting at 2 p.m. today to consider creating a one-year emergency teaching certificate to allow school districts in Texas to hire additional staff necessary to meet the needs of increased enrollment due to the thousands of evacuee children who are expected to enroll in Texas public schools.

TEA's toll free number for teacher inquiries is 1-866-435-7090. Staffing-related calls on that line will be answered by TEA personnel daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The agency notes that it is coordinating efforts to put the many people throughout the state who have offered assistance into areas in need. "It is anticipated that additional educators and professionals will be needed in virtually all areas of expertise, including administration, classroom teachers, therapists, counselors and diagnosticians," said TEA officials.

TEA encourages all who would like to assist public schools in Texas by providing their educational expertise to email information regarding their qualifications and availability to the TEA at The information will become part of a database and sent to Regional Education Service Centers to be distributed to school districts with needs.

The state's education agency reports that as late as last Friday, some 6,100 school-age children who fled Gulf Coast states affected by the hurricane are enrolled in Texas public schools. More are expected to enroll this week.

TEA also lists the following toll-free number for fielding questions from evacuee families or school district officials: 1-800-957-5109. Those wishing to donate school supplies for the evacuee schoolchildren can contact TEA at

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