things that matter

Puerto Rico Is On The Brink Of Financial Ruin, So It’s Shutting Down A Record Number Of Public Schools

Timothy Neesam / Brad Clinesmith / Flickr

In an effort to save money, Puerto Rico is set to close a record level of public schools, the Associated Press reports. On Friday, officials announced the commonwealth would close 179 public schools in an effort to save $7 million. Puerto Rico is currently dealing with a public debt of $73 billion. The schools are expected to shut down at the end of May, which will result in the displacement of over 27,000 students.

Puerto Rico was originally set to shut down 184 schools, but it allowed 5 of them to remain open.


Education Secretary Julia Keleher told the AP that Puerto Rico has given its school system “nearly $3 billion” over the last decade, with little to show, and that it cannot continue to support the school system. This isn’t the first time Puerto Rico has shut down hundreds of schools to save money. Between 2010 and 2015, the AP reports, 150 schools were closed.

Experts warn that closing school will contribute to the number of people leaving Puerto Rico.


Over the last 10 years, 450,000 people have left the commonwealth in search of a better quality of life. As people leave, they are brining their children with them, which has caused a drop in school enrollment of more than 40 percent over the last three decades. Puerto Rico currently has 1,292 public schools available to its 365,000 students, and as funding is cut, teachers are also seeking out better work opportunities in the U.S.

Be sure to read the entire story to find out more at the Associated Press.

[MORE] Associated Press: Puerto Rico to close 179 public schools amid crisis

Read: The Final Vote To Determine Puerto Rico’s Future Is Coming And Trump’s Administration Wants To Sabotage It

Recommend this story to a friend by clicking on the share button below. 

These Boyle Heights Teens Are Shedding Light On What Is Happening In Their Community With Their Own Newspaper

things that matter

These Boyle Heights Teens Are Shedding Light On What Is Happening In Their Community With Their Own Newspaper

Boyle Heights Beat / Facebook

Teenagers in Boyle Heights, a neighborhood east of downtown Los Angeles, are taking media and reporting into their own hands and telling the stories that are directly impacting their community from a first-hand point of view.

The unique and very personal approach of having the neighborhood’s teenagers report these authentic stories has caught the attention of several national media organizations including The Los Angeles Times.

The Boyle Heights Beat was born because mainstream news sources were often leaving out stories about Boyle Heights.


According to the website, Boyle Heights Beat is a collaborative project born between USC Annenberg School of Communication & Journalism and La Opinión newspaper to give the predominately Latino neighborhood bilingual news about what is happening in Boyle Heights. The opportunity to report on topics such as immigration and gentrification as they see them affect their neighbors is given through Boyle Heights’ local newspaper, Boyle Heights Beat, or Pulso de Boyle Heights.

“Boyle Heights was not adequately covered by mainstream papers like the Los Angeles Times,” Michelle Levander, a co-founder and publisher of the Boyle Heights Beat, told NBC Latino. “So we thought, who knows a community better than its youth?”

With that, Levander and Pedro Rojas of La Opinión newspaper formed Boyle Heights Beat in 2010 and began recruiting Boyle Heights teens to cover issues and stories that mattered to them. According to NBC Latino, the teens do not need to have experience in their high school newspapers and are required to attended two news meetings a week as well as a journalism boot camp to teach them all the journalism basics.

Most of the reporting for the newspaper is done by teen members of the Boyle Heights community. The newspaper is always looking for new writers to continue their mission of covering Boyle Heights like nobody else does.


Teens interested in working for Boyle Heights Beat must be enrolled at one of the five Boyle Heights high school since the mission is to have the youth of the neighborhood cover the neighborhood. The opportunity to work for Boyle Heights Beat gives students a chance to learn about the field of journalism as well as their own community.

“Before I joined the Beat, I wasn’t really aware of issues in my community. I was just kind of like, I live here, whatever. But doing the Beat has really shown me a deeper appreciation for the community, for where I come from, and for where the community comes from,” Boyle Heights Beat reporter Saul Soto told NBC Latino. “It’s given me a newfound love for this place and I love it. I really love it.”


(H/T: NBC Latino)


READ: Latina Activist And DJ Drops The Cumbia Mix You Didn’t Know You Needed

Share this story with all of your friends by tapping that little share button below!

Paid Promoted Stories