US Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said on Monday that Puerto Rico would receive nearly $ 4 billion in the Federal Education Pandemic Relief Fund to boost the fight against COVID-19 on US territory.
The announcement was made during Cardona’s official three-day trip to Puerto Rico and was the first for Biden’s ministers. This is the first time the island has full access to these funds.
“Puerto Rico students are suffering enough,” he said. “It’s time to get back to school safely and quickly.”
About half of the approximately $ 4 billion will be released as part of the US Rescue Planning Act, which was enacted in March to offset the impact of the pandemic on the economy and public health.
Puerto Rico reopened dozens of public and private schools in March for the first time since the pandemic began, but less than 100 of the island’s more than 850 public schools were allowed to do so. At that time, only kindergarten children, special education students, and 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 12th grade children were allowed to return to school for face-to-face lessons twice a week. A month later, authorities closed all schools due to a surge in COVID-19 cases and did not reopen some schools until May.
For over a year, many teachers and students have suffered from ongoing power outages and unreliable or non-existent internet connections in virtual learning. Approximately 24,000 students failed classes this year and 13,000 earned an “F” in all courses. The island’s Ministry of Education has urged a summer course to be held with the help of a previously approved $ 210 million federal fund.
In addition to meeting with Governor Pedropier Luisi, Cardona also met with students, parents, educators, union leaders and others, saying, “What is happening and how can we best help?” To make sure you hear … Puerto Rico. “
It was not immediately clear how the Pier Luisi administration planned to use the latest federal funds. The announcement comes three months after Cardona announces that Puerto Rico will have immediate access to $ 912 million in federal education funding.
Severe circumstances prevented US territory from receiving certain federal funds in a timely manner under the Trump administration, which have been eased under US President Joe Biden.
Nearly 123,000 coronavirus infections have been identified on 3.3 million islands, with more than 2,000 reported deaths from COVID-19. Over 40% of the population is vaccinated.
Puerto Rico receives nearly $ 4 billion in US pandemic funding
Source link Puerto Rico receives nearly $ 4 billion in US pandemic funding