The vast majority of Puerto Rico’s schools have reopened, even though many remain without electricity.
As of Dec. 1, 1,075 of nearly 1,200 schools were operating, according to the island’s education secretary, Julia Keleher. Thirty-eight schools have been permanently closed because of structural damage. Even before Hurricane Maria struck in late September, the U.S. territory had shut down a large number of schools because of financial problems.
Student enrollment now stands at about 331,000, down from approximately 350,000 before Maria hit. Keleher didn’t have information on how many teachers had returned to work. She granted a hardship waiver giving teachers until January to report. Although Puerto Rico’s schools were allowed to reopen without power, they did need to be able to provide water to students.
A version of this article appeared in the December 13, 2017 edition of Education Week as Most Schools in Puerto Rico Open, Though Student Enrollment Is Down