Before Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast in 2005, the Orleans Parish (La.) district spent $7,877 per student. This school year, the state-run Recovery School District, which runs more of the city's schools than any other single entity, will spend, conservatively, about $12,900 per student this school year--not including many disaster-related expenses. That's an increase of 65 percent. State schools Superintendent Paul Pastorek calls the increase a vital investment in educating children in poverty--and an opportunity to prove the money can show results.