REL Northeast & Islands serves a geographically large and demographically diverse region that includes more than 5.3 million students, 11,000 schools, and 2,600 districts across New England, New York, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. The region encompasses many small rural districts and some of the largest urban districts in the country.
New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut are heavily populated and industrialized with many large, medium, and small cities. New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont are primarily rural with isolated school systems, many of which are in economically distressed communities.
Puerto Rico is one large school district serving more than 500,000 students, most of whom have limited English proficiency. The US Virgin Islands, by contrast, has fewer than 16,000 students. In both territories, poverty is widespread, and more than 90 percent of students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. Both are accountable to the federal education mandates of No Child Left Behind but receive levels of funding and support different from those that states receive.