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After Maria, Puerto Rican Children Flood Central Florida Schools


Thousands of Puerto Rican children are enrolling in central Florida schools after Hurricane Maria.

Orange and Osceola counties are among those receiving the most children. Nearly 2,000 have enrolled in Orange County and just over a thousand in Osceola County.

Jesus Jara of the Orange County Public Schools says the sudden growth is challenging. He says the focus is on schools already with large Puerto Rican populations.

"That's where we started looking at the bus routes, the food service, and our food service department started, well you know, we need to have more food. All these different things because we're not dictating where the kids are going. They're coming usually with a family member."

He says the school district is streamlining the enrollment process, and community members are donating needed supplies.


Amy Green covered the environment for WMFE until 2023. Her work included the 2020 podcast DRAINED.