The Senate to investigate the use and condition of closed schools
Today, the Senate in Puerto Rico passed a resolution that proposes investigating everyone’s destination, use, management, and status Public schools closed between January 2011 and January 2021 Although the People’s Democratic Party (PPD) has attempted to limit the number of schools that could be part of the investigation.
The measure – authored by a senator Puerto Rico Independence Party (PIP), Mary Lord SantiagoHe received unanimous support from the legislature.
“A synthesis decision proposes an investigation into the destination, use, management and condition of closed public schools between January 2011 and January of this year. However, the tragedy of school closures began much earlier. As colleagues, we will have seen in a report sent to Our offices by the Habitat Reconstruction Center, from 2007 to 2018, 44% of public educational spaces were closed and this process began to accelerate after 2011. “
Before its approval, the spokesperson for the majority of the PDP, Javier Aponte Dalmão, tried to amend the procedure to remove allusions to former governor Alejandro García Padilla and then governor Ricardo Rosillo. In addition, the amendments leave the number of closed schools under investigation in the hands of the Senate. However, the amendments proposed by Aunte Dalmau were defeated. Legislative minorities that included Santiago, Independent Senator José Vargas Vidot, the New Progressive Party (PNP) delegation, the Senators for Movimiento Victoria Ciudadana (MVC) and the Senator for the Dignity Project voted against the amendments proposed by the delegation. The majority of PPD.
A PIP legislator hinted at closing a file Lola Rodríguez de Tío School in Carolina A vocational school was closed for students with career diversity, who were later transferred to other schools that “did not respond to their needs.”
According to the lawmaker, in a study by Puerto Rican economist Jose Caraballo Quito, closing the school from 2017 to 2019 left a balance of 58,606 displaced students. Likewise, the academic stated that school closures during that period brought $ 34 million to the government’s treasury. But the legislator said that maintenance of these facilities increased to $ 311.7 million.
Likewise, Santiago argued that according to a report by the Center for Investigative Journalism, of 960 closed schools, only 4% generate income for the state. He denounced that “the closures did not respond to any educational, planning or societal consideration.”
For his part, new progressive Senator Henry Newman supported the Santiago measure and questioned the number of schools that have closed during the past four-year period. The worst [la exsecretaria del Departamento de Educación, Julia Keleher] What no civilized society understands is school closures. Newman said the government should try to bring education closer to students.
Meanwhile, the new progressive Senator Carmelo Rios asked to speed up the evaluation of these schools so that they could be reused. “For me, it’s not about whether these people have failed before or now. It’s: How do we solve?” Rios argued.