After being devastated by Hurricane Maria and sharp decline in school enrollment, Puerto Rico had to make the tough decision to close 283 schools, CNN reports. Half of the schools that are currently open are operating at 60 percent of their capacity, according to Education Secretary Julia Keleher.
“We know it’s a difficult and painful process. For this reason, we’ve done it in the most sensible way taking in consideration all the elements that could impact the daily lives of some families and the school communities in general,” Keleher said in a statement.
The schools have lost 38, 762 students since last May. Since Puerto Rico is U.S territory, the residents can move freely to U.S states without visas. Since Hurricane Maria, 135,000 people reportedly fled to the U.S mainland.
In a statement to the Associated Press, president of the teacher’s union Aida Diaz said she plans to fight these closures.
“The damage that the Secretary of Education is doing to children, youth and their parents is immeasurable.”
Out of the 1,100 schools, only 828 will reopen in August 2018.
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