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.
— NEWS102.3 KRMG (@KRMGtulsa) May 5, 2017
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.
— Dánica Coto (@danicacoto) May 5, 2017
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