National education and labor news

Puerto Ricans find welcome in mainland schools

Puerto Rico flag

Public schools in Florida, Texas, Pennsylvania and New York are preparing to take in thousands of students fleeing Puerto Rico following the devastation from Hurricane Maria. The hurricane has left millions of people in Puerto Rico without power and clean drinking water. Many schools remain closed more than a month later.

While leaving Puerto Rico has been difficult, the exodus has begun. About 10,000 Puerto Ricans have arrived in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Orlando, and students from the island have begun to enroll in Miami-Dade public schools.

Florida schools are stepping up to accommodate these students. School leaders have asked lawmakers to waive caps on class sizes, and they’ve made it clear they’ll need more funding and resources.

Many universities are also responding to the crisis by waiving out-of-state tuition and fees for students forced from their homes by the hurricane.

Moret than three dozen public universities in Florida, the State University of New York and Tulane University’s New Orleans campus are offering in-state tuition this school year to displaced Puerto Ricans. CUNY is expected to implement a similar policy in the weeks ahead.

ABC News, Oct. 5
The New York Times, Oct. 6

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