Hillsborough Schools to Get Federal Money for Hurricane Maria Refugees
Hillsborough County Public Schools enrolled about 1,500 students displaced by Hurricane Maria. About 70 percent of students have remained for the new school year, according to U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor.
TAMPA – U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa, has announced that Hillsborough County Public Schools will receive $1.4 million in federal reimbursement for costs incurred during the 2017-2018 school year for serving K-12 students displaced by Hurricane Maria.
Hillsborough County Public Schools enrolled about 1,500 students displaced because of Hurricane Maria. About 70 percent of students have remained in public schools for the new school year. The majority of displaced students were from Puerto Rico, according to Castor.
“Hillsborough teachers, caseworkers and the school district aided students and families from Puerto Rico to ensure that their education was not disrupted in the wake of one of the most serious disasters in American history. I am very proud of their dedication to the education of these students and support for families,” Castor said. “Students were seamlessly placed in the classroom the same day they showed up to school to enroll without burdening families with proof of school records or other documents they might have lost in the wake of Hurricane Maria. This was the first step in re-establishing normalcy and recovery for these displaced families.”
The U.S. Department of Education allocated funding to Florida last month, and the state is now allocating funds to school districts.
Castor championed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (PL 115-123), in which Congress appropriated funds for disaster relief and recovery as a result of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, wildfires and other 2017 natural disasters under the Stafford Act. It was signed into law Feb. 9.
Additionally, a total of $75 million funding is being disbursed to colleges and universities around the country that enrolled displaced students. The University of South Florida received about $171,000 for its work aiding displaced students.
Castor has been leading a Puerto Rico Recovery & Assistance Task Force made up of local and regional government, nonprofit and faith-based organizations to maximize collaboration and assist relocated families following the devastation of Hurricane Maria. Hillsborough County Public Schools has been a member of the task force and provided information and assistance to the wide variety of task force members. Castor said she has championed and supported federal legislation to ensure their hard work is not undone by the GOP’s inaction and delays in providing meaningful disaster recovery resources.
Castor represents Florida’s 14th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. CD 14 includes Tampa, Town ‘N’ Country and Citrus Park.
For information about Castor, go to castor.house.gov.
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