Last week, the Massachusetts Senate passed a supplemental budget that includes $15 million for school districts educating students from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands who were displaced by hurricanes Maria and Irma. Since September 2017, more than 2,300 students have arrived in Massachusetts from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands and enrolled in schools across the state.
“This funding will provide critical support for the Commonwealth’s schools that have experienced the recent arrival of students who were displaced after the devastating hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands,” said Senator Sal DiDomenico (D-Everett), Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. “It is of the highest importance that we do everything we can to ensure these students feel welcomed and that our schools have the support they need to educate all of their students.”
“The expenditures the Senate has approved today are down payments on issues that we will be continuing to address moving forward,” said Senate President Harriette L. Chandler (D-Worcester). “Relief for those displaced by Puerto Rico, additional funding for the MCAD, and support for municipal land use training improve the lives and well-being of our students, workforce and constituents.”
“This funding supports school districts across the state that have faced a sudden influx of new students,” said Senator Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland), Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. “It is our duty to welcome these students with open arms and ensure they continue to have access to high-quality education.”
The supplemental budget also contains an additional $250,000 in funding for the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination and $200,000 in funding for the Citizen Planner Training Collaborative.