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FEMA has paid $669 million to families affected by Katrina

HOUSTON (AP) — The Federal Emergency Management Agency has paid $669 million nationwide to families affected by Hurricane Katrina, officials announced Saturday.

The agency has registered 573,262 households nationwide for benefits, agency spokesman Ed Conley said, explaining that the figure includes singles and families. Later Saturday, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas released a FEMA memo that detailed how local and state governments could be reimbursed for assisting evacuees.

FEMA will reimburse governments for lodging, housing, transportation and labor costs, according to the memo. Many expenses related to education and health care will also be reimbursed, but not the costs of hiring extra teachers or buying additional textbooks.

Churches and other faith-based organizations will have to work through local governments for reimbursement, the memo said, and private families are not eligible to get repaid.