Puerto Rico is closing 283 schools this summer. The Department of Education announced the news on Thursday, citing a sharp drop in enrollment after Hurricane Maria
According to the Associated Press, many families have left the island since Hurricane Maria, causing enrollment to drop by more than 38,700 students since last May. However, Education Secretary Julia Keleher ensured teachers and school employees that there will be no layoffs.
“We know it’s a difficult and painful process,” she said. “Our children deserve the best education that we are capable of giving them taking into account Puerto Rico’s fiscal reality.”
Out of 1,100 public schools, 828 public will keep their doors open. The new plan is estimated to save the Department of Education $150 million.
There are some people who oppose the idea. “This is like killing 300 communities,” Aida Díaz, president of Puerto Rico’s teacher’s union, told Education Week magazine. “We’re going to have communities that are not going to have any schools. The only place they have to meet is the school.”
TSR STAFF: Myeisha E.! @myeisha.essex