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Denver Public Schools superintendent to respond to continuous enrollment of migrant students

Denver Public Schools tries to accommodate more migrants as city struggles with resources
Denver Public Schools tries to accommodate more migrants as city struggles with resources 01:40

As the City of Denver works to help migrants arriving in the city, the school district is struggling to meet the needs of schools taking in the new students. Denver Public Schools tells CBS News Colorado they have received hundreds of new students and are now finding themselves underfunded.

Superintendent Alex Marrero will deliver an update at their board meeting, scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Thursday at DPS Headquarters. The meeting is important as schools find themselves underfunded by millions of dollars because students continue to arrive after the October count.  Schools are funded based on how many children are enrolled as of that October count.


DPS released new numbers to CBS News Colorado, ahead of the meeting. After reporting in December that it was serving 2200 new-to-country students, DPS says it is now serving nearly 2900 newcomers. So nearly 700 migrant students have enrolled in a single month.

The district said in December about 75% of their schools have received new students, but most are seeing small increases of about 10 students. But 13 schools have received more than 50 students as the newcomer families choose schools where teachers speak Spanish, and which have affordable housing nearby.

McMeen Elementary has taken in more than 125 migrant students, and some classes are reaching their limits. That means some rooms have 35 students in their classrooms who speak both English and Spanish. This has one parent of McMeen Elementary wanting to know what the district will do next to combat this issue. 

RELATED: Welcoming and overwhelmed, a Denver school is stretched to meet migrant students' needs

"I have heard staff, teachers and families all saying that they are ready to throw in the towel," Kathleen Arriaza, said. "I think it's completely overwhelming for everybody who's involved in this situation."

The meeting is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Thursday at DPS Headquarters. 

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