When Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico in September 2017, it severely disrupted the U.S. territory’s public schools and the students they served. The road back has been long and difficult, as children, teachers, and parents have struggled with everything from unreliable electricity to emotional trauma. The government’s plans to remake the island’s education system has also touched off fierce debate. Education Week Assistant Editor Andrew Ujifusa and Deputy Director of Photography Swikar Patel went to Puerto Rico in October 2017 to chronicle schools early efforts to recover from Maria while also serving the immediate and critical needs of their communities. Patel and Ujifusa, joined by Video Producer Erin Irwin, returned to the island in late January and again in August to report on the progress schools had made, and to highlight the debate taking shape over the long-term fate of Puerto Rico’s schools. Correspondent Kavitha Cardoza also reported from Puerto Rico at the start of the new school year, for segments on PBS NewsHour and edweek.org.
Their reporting and related coverage is below: