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Schools struggle to handle displaced kids

By Times staff writers
Published September 3, 2005

Hurricane Katrina presents a perplexing dilemma for local counties with strict procedures for assigning children to schools.

Displaced parents who have migrated to Pinellas County, for example, don't have time to stand in line at education centers to learn which schools have room for their children. Instead, they have been bringing their kids directly to the schools, hoping for admittance.

So far, 35 such students have turned up at Pinellas schools. Superintendent Clayton Wilcox is telling principals to admit the children without sending them to a Family Education and Information Center.

At least 37 children, most from Louisiana, have enrolled in Hillsborough County schools. Another 15 students were scheduled to receive physicals and get school assignments on Tuesday.

Maria forms, but not likely to threaten

Tropical Storm Maria formed Friday in the Atlantic, the 13th named storm of the 2005 hurricane season, but is not considered a threat to land. The storm, which has maximum sustained winds of 40 mph, is about 1,100 miles southeast of Bermuda.

Staff writers Thomas Tobin, Jeffrey Solochek and Donna Winchester contributed to this report, as did Times wire services.

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