Stavros Agorakis is a junior at Northwestern University, studying journalism, psychology, and business. He covers immigration and education for Medill News Service in Washington, D.C.

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FEMA-funded Hotel Rooms Are Still the Only ‘Home’ for Many Puerto Rican Evacuees

Baymont Inn & Suites is one of more than 250 in Florida that entered agreements with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide rooms for Puerto Rican evacuees. (Stavros Agorakis)

At least 60 percent of Puerto Ricans receiving TSA assistance in the United States don’t plan to return to the island when funding expires, a FEMA representative said, although that could change in the future as the island rebuilds.

FEMA Extends Temporary Housing Assistance for Evacuated Puerto Ricans

by Stavros Agorakis, by Mila Jasper, by Anna Laffrey 03-20-2018

A house destroyed during Hurricane Maria in September 2017 is seen in Utuado, Puerto Rico February 1, 2018. Picture taken February 1, 2018. REUTERS/Alvin Baez

In Washington, many lawmakers have criticized FEMA as having too lenient standards for determining whether Puerto Ricans’ homes damaged by the hurricane are livable. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said one home FEMA defined as “hospitable” doesn’t have a secure roof, doors, or windows, and may not have access to power or clean water.

How Florida Schools Adopted Puerto Rican Students After the Hurricane

by Stavros Agorakis, by Mila Jasper, by Anna Laffrey 03-19-2018

Hillsborough County, where Sickles High School is located, serves about 260,000 students and is the eighth largest school system in the United States. (Stavros Agorakis)

Carlos Velazquez, 14, who attends Howard W. Blake High School in Hillsborough County, doesn’t read or write in English. But all of his courses, including physics, math, and literature, are taught by English-speaking teachers, while only one teacher is available to help Spanish-speaking students understand their coursework.