Arkansas Schools Educating 3,300 Hurricane Refugees

OCTOBER 3, 2005 - Posted at 7:52 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Officials estimate that about 3,300 school children who would normally be enrolled in their hometowns in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas are instead attending Arkansas schools.  They are the children of families forced to evacuate from those states because of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Most Arkansas schools with hurricane refugees say they're accomodating the youngsters with relative ease.  Some students arrived with no school records and sometimes without their parents.

School officials report that the number of refugee students fluctuates.  At White Hall, outside of Pine Bluff, superintendent Gary Kees says his district has had as many as 63 refugee students and as few as 24.  In Fountain Lake, superintendent Lowell Hightower said he has 65 refugee students in his 1,100-student district.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)