U.S. Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy of Winter Park, Fla., today renewed her call for emergency federal funding to support school districts in Florida and other states that enroll students from Puerto Rico and other areas displaced by recent hurricanes. More than 5,000 dislocated students have enrolled in at least a dozen Florida school districts in the last month, including 1,500 students in Orange County alone.
“Within the past month, 13 Florida school districts have enrolled more than 5,000 new students from Puerto Rico and other hurricane-affected areas,” said Murphy. “As Florida schools welcome these new students displaced by hurricanes, school administrators have expressed concern to me about the pressures being placed on their resources and their ability to sustain and strengthen their quality of education. That’s why I’m leading a bipartisan effort in Congress to ensure these schools have the resources they need to provide all students with a great education.”
In early October, Murphy authored a letter urging Congress to follow recent precedent and allocate funding to elementary schools, high schools and colleges that enroll displaced students. The letter was signed by 30 Members of Congress, including both Democrats and Republicans, representing Florida, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts. Each of these states has a large Puerto Rican population and is expected to be a popular destination for island families moving to the mainland in the wake of Hurricane Maria.
Since October 3rd, more than 90,000 U.S. citizens from Puerto Rico have arrived in Florida through Miami International Airport, Orlando International Airport, and Port Everglades.
U.S. Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy represents Florida’s Seventh Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, where she serves on the House Armed Services Committee and Small Business Committee. The district includes all of Seminole County and much of northern Orange County, including downtown Orlando, Maitland, Winter Park, and the University of Central Florida. Previously, Murphy was a businesswoman and college instructor who also served as a national security specialist in the Office of the Secretary of Defense where she received numerous awards for her distinguished service, including the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service. Murphy lives in Winter Park with her husband and two children.