Puerto Rico’s Education Department announced Thursday that it would close 283 public schools in the face of plummeting student enrollment.
The move would leave Puerto Rico with 828 public schools in a system that currently serves 319,000 students. Secretary of Education Julia Keleher said the closures will help the system better serve more students, given the island’s difficult financial situation. However, Aida Díaz, the president of the Asociación de Maestros de Puerto Rico, the island’s main teachers’ union that serves nearly 30,000 active teachers, said the move would damage more than just the educational system: “We’re going to have communities that are not going to have any schools.”
Also last week, the union filed the suit in response to a new education law signed by Gov. Ricardo Rosselló late last month that allows charter schools and vouchers on the island, the Associated Press reported.
A version of this article appeared in the April 11, 2018 edition of Education Week as Puerto Rico to Close 283 Schools Amid Sharp Enrollment Drop