Sens. Lesser, Welch Vote with Senate for State Funding to Support Local Schools Accepting Influx of Students from Puerto Rico
BOSTON — In a unanimous vote on Thursday, the State Senate supported a measure to inject needed funds into school districts, including Springfield and Chicopee, that have accepted an influx of students from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands as a result of Hurricane Maria. The supplemental funding bill was an urgent response to the need of school districts across the state that have added hundreds of new students to their classrooms. The $15 million in state funds was an amount proposed by Gov. Charlie Baker and passed by the State House of Representatives on Wednesday.
“As we welcome new students from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands who have lost everything they know because of a natural disaster, we must also support our schools and local institutions that are doing their best to serve them. I hope this is the first of many efforts to support our friends and neighbors working to rebuild their lives, and those working to help them,” said Senator Eric P. Lesser.
“I am more than pleased that this funding was included in the supplemental budget. Our communities welcomed these students and families and it is important that they receive adequate reimbursement and funding going forward to support the students. As a delegation, we have been in touch with the Administration to be sure this was a priority. We will continue to stay in touch to be sure the funds go where they are most needed," said Senator James T. Welch.
The funding bill will now go to Gov. Baker’s desk for his signature.