Puerto Rico Plans To Close Down A Third Of Its Schools

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Amber Randall Civil Rights Reporter
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The Puerto Rican government plans to close down one-third of its schools following the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, the education department announced Thursday.

The Education Department for the United States territory will shut down 283 schools during the summer as the schools have been struggling with low attendance rates brought about by last year’s hurricane season and the poverty the island is experiencing.

“We know it’s a difficult and painful process,” Education Secretary Julia Keleher said. “Our children deserve the best education that we are capable of giving them taking into account Puerto Rico’s fiscal reality.”

The plan is supposed to help the department save $150 million. The island currently has 1,100 public schools, many of which were only using about 60 percent of their resources. Once the schools shut down, the island will have 828 operational schools, Keleher added.

Some teachers and teacher unions are planning protests about the move, saying that school closures would potentially disrupt the students’ and teachers’ lives by having them transfer to different schools.

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