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Puerto Rico Plans to Close 184 Schools

Seth Nichols, Staff Writer

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After filing for bankruptcy Puerto Rico announced its plan to close over 180 schools and relocate about 27,000 students to other schools. Puerto Rico faces an immense debt of about $70 billion; for such a small small island to administer on its own. The mass school closing is projected to save around $7 million, only a small portion of the U.S. territory’s debt.

Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory and those that live there are full U.S. citizens, however, they do not pay federal taxes like we do and cannot vote in U.S. congressional or presidential elections.

There are many questions and concerns when this many schools are planned to be cut out of the education budget. First of all, where will these students go after their school closes? Secondly, if they do get assigned to another school how will they get there if it is too far to walk or if their parents cannot take them on a daily basis. Also, the question of special education students and how their needs will be met with this mass school consolidation.

There has been a large decrease in student enrollment of about 42% throughout the past three decades. The mostly likely cause being people leaving from Puerto Rico to find better jobs to support their families in a more stable economy. The low birth rate also looks to decrease the schools’ enrollments even more in coming years.

From 2010 to 2015, Puerto Rico closed roughly 150 schools in an attempt to slow the country’s economic crisis, but felt more was needed.

One of the leading factors in whether or not a society is blossoming depends heavily on the education of its youths. Education shapes the future of society and allows it to either flourish and grow or tumble and fall. Closing schools may be a short term resolution, but the future of Puerto Rico is very unknown and unpredictable.

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/05/05/puerto-rico-to-close-184-public-schools-amid-crisis.html

http://time.com/4769356/puerto-rico-public-school-closure/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_voting_rights_in_Puerto_Rico

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The student news site of The Covenant School in Charlotteville, Virginia
Puerto Rico Plans to Close 184 Schools