South Coast Schools To Receive New Funding For Puerto Rican Evacuees

Feb 21, 2018

Schools districts in Massachusetts that have enrolled students recently arrived from Puerto Rico will soon be getting a portion of $15 million dollars in new state funding.

Fall River and New Bedford are among the districts slated to receive a portion of the funding. According the New Bedford Mayor’s office, more than 150 new students have arrived in that city from Puerto Rico since the hurricane.

In Holyoke, the school district has already hired more people to help teach 185 student evacuees, including specialists in English as a second language and special education.

“We've hired additional ESL staff,” said Holyoke Schools Superintendent Stephen Zrike. “We've hired additional teachers and additional para-professionals. And to be honest we still need to do more. "

Zrike estimates districts will receive about $6,000 per student. He says it is possible more families could be coming to Holyoke.  According to the state, 2,440 students from Puerto Rico have come to Massachusetts since Hurricane Maria.