A series of stories that started in today’s New York Times follows families from Renaissance Village, which closed in May.
The series highlights how the policies of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, East Baton Rouge Parish school system and sometimes the families’ poor choices have failed their children.
More than half of those ages 6 to 11 had a behavior or learning problem, yet in the East Baton Rouge School District children can wait for as long as two years to be tested for learning disabilities, the story says.
“After more than three years of nomadic uncertainty, many of the children of Hurricane Katrina are behind in school, acting out and suffering from extraordinarily high rates of illness and mental health problems. Their parents, many still anxious or depressed themselves, are struggling to keep the lights on and the refrigerator stocked,” the story says.
Meanwhile, the case managers FEMA promised to help the families find permanent homes have yet to start working in Louisiana.