Governor Baker Gives Aid to Schools Helping Hurricane Victims
By Isabel Indresano 2/19/2018
Governor Charlie Baker has signed a budget bill providing school districts that accepted students from Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands with $15 million in state aid. Families came to the mainland US after the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria in the summer of 2017.
Supplemental budgets are put in place to allocate money for under-funded accounts in fields where the state is required to pay for unexpected expenses.
As of Jan. 5, Massachusetts public schools had enrolled more than 2,400 students from Puerto Rico, according to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Fund distribution will be based on the number of student districts that accept, along with an existing education funding strategy.
The supplemental budget, signed Friday, provides an additional $250,000 for hiring at the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination in order to address the rise in sexual harassment reports. The bill also includes over $1 million to reimburse cities and towns for the costs of early voting for the Nov. 8, 2016, state election, due to the unfunded mandate of the early voting law determined by Auditor Suzanne Bump.