Skip to Main Content

Louisiana Hurricanes

Images of Hurricanes from left to right, Audrey, Betsy, Camille, Andrew, Katrina, Rita, Gustav, and Ike. Images used are in public domain, pulled from Wikipedia Commons.

Hurricane Katrina Impact on Education


Many of the changes to the education system brought upon by Hurricane Katrina are still in affect today. Following the storm, between 100,000 and 200,000 students were displaced along the Gulf Coast, an estimated half of which came from New Orleans and the surrounding areas. Many lower-income students spent months or even years out of school as they struggled to find housing, accounting for the large population of young adults without diplomas or consistent employment in Louisiana today. 

Hurricane Katrina destroyed 100 of the city’s 128 public school buildings. Consequently, the local government seized this opportunity to completely redesign the New Orleans public school system, citing the high number of failing public schools in operation prior to the storm. Following the storm, the state superintendent of education, John White, dictated that no public schools would reopen for the remainder of the school year following the storm, leading to the loss of 7,500 jobs for residents who worked in affected schools. During these months, the city’s schools transitioned from a traditional centralized system to the modern charter model. Many praise local leaders’ decision to convert the city’s public schools, as it led to nicer facilities, improved standardized test scores, and higher graduation rates. However, the New Orleans charter school "takeover" has also been criticized by others who assert that the lottery model contributes to class segregation and denies the city’s lowest-income students the same opportunities to succeed by leaving them to attend the remaining, neglected district-run schools. 

Key Subject Headings

Listed below are some recommended subject headings for searching for Hurricane Katrina's impact on education. Full steps on how to use these subject terms can be found on this LibGuide's homepage.

Disaster relief -- Louisiana -- New Orleans
Disaster victims -- Louisiana -- New Orleans
Disasters -- Louisiana -- New Orleans
Emergency management -- Louisiana -- New Orleans
Hurricane Katrina, 2005 -- History.
Hurricane Katrina, 2005 -- Periodicals.
Hurricane Katrina, 2005 -- Personal narratives.
Hurricane Katrina, 2005 -- Poetry.
Hurricane Katrina, 2005 -- Political aspects.
Hurricane Katrina, 2005 -- Press coverage.
Urban renewal -- Louisiana -- New Orleans

Most specific:
Child disaster victims -- Louisiana -- New Orleans
Educational change -- Louisiana -- New Orleans.
Hurricane Katrina, 2005 -- Social aspects.
Hurricane Katrina, 2005 -- Social conditions.

Selected Collections

A few of the collections held by LSU Libraries Special Collections are listed below. Additional collections may be found utilizing the subject headings listed in the sections above. 

Books and other published materials

Manuscript collections

Additional Resources

Additional resources on Hurricane Katrina may be located at the following links.

Hurricane Images Banner information

Images in the banner from left to right are numbered below 1 to 8.

1. Hurricane Audrey  2. Hurricane Betsy  3. Hurricane Camille  4. Hurricane Andrew  
5. Hurricane Katrina  6. Hurricane Rita  7. Hurricane Gustav  8. Hurricane Ike

Images 1-4 are in the public domain because they contain materials that originally came from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, taken or made as part of an employee's official duties. 
Images 5-8 are in the public domain in the United States because they were solely created by NASA. NASA copyright policy states that "NASA material is not protected by copyright unless noted". (See NASA copyright policy page.)

Provide Website Feedback
Accessibility Statement