Maui Lahaina 64ece00191df1

Nearly 3,000 students in Maui remain displaced after wildfires

Aug. 28, 2023
State officials say four public schools were damaged by the fires and remain closed.

The fires that tore through the Lahaina section of Maui in Hawaii have left nearly 3,000 students from pre-K to 12th grade without a school, according to the Hawaii State Department of Education.

ABC News reports that four public schools were damaged by the fires and remain closed -- two elementary, one intermediate, and one high school, officials said. King Kamehameha III Elementary is the only school damaged beyond repair, according to the department of education.

The 400 staff members affected by these closures are on paid administrative leave. The department of education says it's aiming to reopen schools as soon as possible, whether at the existing school sites or alternate sites.

Dozens of families have been calling for better solutions after Hawaii Gov. Josh Green said he was considering busing children from West Maui to other parts of the island.

The fires have caused more than 100 deaths, according to Maui County. The blazes spread rapidly because of very dry conditions stemming from a drought combined with powerful winds.

Much of the historic town of Lahaina has been destroyed, officials said, and thousands of residential and commercial buildings have burned to the ground.

Most Hawaii schools were scheduled to begin the school year the week of the Lahaina fires. Maui Prep's first day of school was scheduled for Aug. 9, the day after the fires. Instead, it became one of the first shelters on West Maui.

Of the thousands of students affected, about 400 have found a school as of last week, according to the department of education.
About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy, senior editor, has written for AS&U on a wide range of educational issues since 1999.

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