Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Puerto Rico Receives Over $900M in Education Funds Previously Restricted by Trump

Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona, announced earlier this week that Puerto Rico has been granted immediate access to $912 Million in federal funds that had not been available to students in both public and private school due to restrictions imposed by former President Trump.

Cardona said in a statement, “The Department is committed to partnering with and supporting Puerto Rico in the efficient and effective use of department funds to serve Puerto Rico’s students, including to safely reopen schools and maximize in-person instructional time.” The new funds come less than two weeks after Puerto Rico reopened dozens of public and private schools for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic began.

The aid was awarded after Puerto Rico Governor Pedro Pierluisi sent a letter to Cardona requesting immediate access to previously approved aid “in order to provide the necessary resources for the students of Puerto Rico.” Pierluisi said, “Our students have endured a lot, since the hurricanes from 2017 to earthquakes and the COVID-19 pandemic, and they deserve to go back to normal. These resources will provide the necessary funds to satisfy the needs of our students on the island. On behalf of our children, teachers, and the parents of Puerto Rico, I thank Secretary Miguel Cardona for his commitment to supporting Puerto Rico and President Biden for quickly granting Puerto Rico access to these federal funds.”

The U.S. Department of Education will work alongside local officials to determine how the money can be used to address the academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs of student in Puerto Rico. The release of federal funds marks a new step forward as the Puerto Rican government tries to build a new relationship with President Biden’s Administration as well as is hopeful that funding delays that occurred under former President Trump will vanish.

NBC