MIAMI (WSVN) – Thousands of migrant children are now set for school after surviving a harrowing journey to South Florida. The recent migrant crisis has created an unexpected wave of students enrolling in Miami-Dade schools.
The increase has been significant, particularly in middle and high schools, but Miami-Dade Superintendent Dr. Jose Dotres said no classroom in the county is over capacity.
“We’ve been through this before,” Dotres said.
As migrants make their way to the U.S., many are ending up in South Florida, and with that, new student enrollments are on the rise.
“And which schools are impacted the most? Which schools are receiving a significant number of students that may require us to make adjustments? And so, this moment, we’re not seeing the necessity for that,” Dotres said.
According to the district, close to 10,000 students have enrolled from countries like Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela.
The biggest spike are Cuban born students; 4,000 more so far this school year compared to the previous school year.
“Receiving additional students will place higher demands on us to make sure that we hire additional teachers,” Dotres said. “We hire all the time, and so it is difficult.”
It is a difficult strain on staffing during a nationwide teacher shortage, which is causing pressure on the district’s budget.
“There are added expenses, and typically what we do is count on the federal government to support and assist us with that process,” Dotres said. “The last time that we went through this in 2016, we did a calculation, and I believe the cost was around $8 million.”
It makes for an uncertain flow of students into Miami-Dade County schools, as their families try and find a new life in America.
“This may be tapering down,” Dotres said. “However, we don’t know, but we’re attending to this every single day.”
The number of students enrolled so far this school year at Broward schools is not as large, just under 9,000 migrant students.
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