NEW ORLEANS -- The Orleans Parish School Board and Recovery School District awarded $1.3 million to help public schools serve students with disabilities.

The $1.3 million dollars will go to 18 public schools in Orleans Parish to support the needs of 231 students, according to a release from the school board.

The money awarded is part of the Citywide Exceptional Needs Fund, which is one of several citywide programs created by the RSD and OPSB to support students with special needs.

“Since its inception, the Citywide Exceptional Needs Fund has helped us ensure additional funds are allocated to schools throughout New Orleans to support the education services for students with special needs,” said OPSB Superintendent Dr. Henderson Lewis, Jr. “CENF has enabled us to supplement costs of services for those students whose needs are not fully met through the state’s High Cost Services Allocation, as well as those students with unique needs whose costs do not meet the state’s threshold for funding eligibility.”

About 12 percent of students enrolled in New Orleans public schools have special needs, according to the school board. Some of them require individualized staff support for the entire school day, assistive equipment or specialized transportation.

Applications for individual students ranged from $14,000 to over $100,000; the average award across the pool of applications is $5,540 per student.

“The CENF represents a broader commitment on the part of education leaders across our city to ensuring that resources are distributed equitably so that all of our students can succeed,” said RSD Superintendent Kunjan Narechania.