The Covid-19 pandemic has devastated communities around the world, including Puerto Rico. For more than a year, schools on the island have been closed in an effort to combat the viral outbreak of Covid-19 on the island. Puerto Rico’s educational field is finally getting some help.

After many months, Puerto Rico is receiving educational pandemic relief funds.

Students in Puerto Rico, like students all over the world, have been learning outside of a school setting for much of the Covid-19 pandemic. The results were thousands of students failing classes and leaving parents and administrators frustrated and concerned. According to the Associated Press, 100 of 850 public schools in Puerto Rico were allowed to reopen in March 2021 as people are eager to get students back to school safely.

The Biden Administration has released $3.8 billion in educational pandemic relief funds to assist Puerto Rico in safely reopening its schools. The announcement was made by U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona.

The Associated Press reports that around 13,000 students failed all of their classes during the pandemic. In response, the Puerto Rican government used $210 million of Covid relief funds to have summer school to help students who were falling behind.

The announcement comes during Secretary Cardona’s three-day visit to Puerto Rico.

“My goal for this trip is to make sure that every school and every student in Puerto Rico has exactly what they need to be successful,” Sec. Cardona says in the announcement video. “I’m excited about the progress we’ll continue to make together.”

The sudden interest in getting much-needed funds to Puerto Rico is a welcomed change from the previous administration’s handling of Puerto Rico. The island has been in desperate need of help since Hurricane Maria devastated the island in 2017. After years of waiting for help from the U.S., American citizens in Puerto Rico are receiving aid after the Biden Administration has eased laws preventing Puerto Rico from receiving federal funds.

About half of the money is being released as part of the American Rescue Plan.

The American Rescue Plan was signed into law by President Joe Biden in March 2021 with the goal of offsetting the economic issues created by Covid-19 and restrictions. The American Rescue Plan is a stimulus package of $1.9 trillion that is meant to rescue the American economy after more than a year of Covid restrictions.

Puerto Rico has reported around 123,000 cases of Covid-19 on the island with more than 2,000 deaths.

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