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Surge in school enrollment of children from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela as migration soars

Boat At Sea Florida Haitian Migrants.jfif
U.S. Coast Guard
/
The Miami Herald
A U.S. Coast Guard boat approaches a sailing vessel packed with migrants law enforcement sources say are from Haiti off the coast of Key Largo Monday, Nov. 21, 2022.

Since the start of the 2022-23 school year, nearly 10,000 students from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela have enrolled in Miami-Dade County public schools — about 2,500 more students than who arrived in the entire 2021-22 year, reflecting the surge of immigrants coming from those four countries over nearly six months.

All told, the district has enrolled more than 14,700 new students who’ve emigrated from another country, an unexpected wave that comes at a time when the district is grappling with an already thin workforce and classroom teacher vacancies — one of the pandemic’s lingering effects.

“This whole thing is like a perfect storm. We’ve already been experiencing, for the last couple of years, the lack of human capital,” said Miami-Dade School Board Chair Mari Tere Rojas in a meeting Wednesday where board members and Superintendent Jose Dotres discussed the issue. “Now, we’re going to have more children to serve.”

Read more at our news partner, the Miami Herald.