Florida counties and school districts are set to receive $95.8 million in federal funding as reimbursement for taking in thousands of displaced Puerto Rican students following Hurricane Maria last year, according to a news release from U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy's office.
Per the release, the state of Florida is set to retain $47.7 million of the federal funding, and will distribute $46.8 million to school districts.
Orange County Public Schools enrolled roughly 4,000 displaced students and will receive more than $12 million in funding – more than any other district across the state. Meanwhile, Seminole County Public Schools, which enrolled around 500 students, will receive more than $1.6 million.
Overall, 13 school districts will receive part of the funds. Fifty-two counties will also receive funding, including Orange and Seminole, both of which will be awarded more than $1 million.
"I'm proud to have secured these federal investments in our young people, helping to support Florida school districts that did the right thing and took in students displaced by Hurricane Maria," Murphy, D-Winter Park, says in the release, referring to her efforts to help allocate the funds.
She continues: "After last September's hurricanes, tens of thousands of American families from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands relocated to Florida, and thousands of children and youth enrolled in our schools after the school year had started. This required the state and counties to spend more money than they anticipated spending at the start of the school year. As a result of our effort in Congress, the federal government is now making our state and our school districts whole again."
Other counties set to receive funding under the initiative include Osceola (roughly $5 million), Broward ($4.4 million), Dade ($4.2 million), Collier ($3.1 million), Palm Beach ($1.8 million), Polk ($1.7 million), Hillsborough ($1.4 million), Lee ($1.2 million), Lake ($1.2 million) and Pinellas ($1.2 million.)
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