As we speak, US Secretary of Schooling Miguel Cardona and Puerto Rico Secretary of Schooling Eliezer Ramos Parés introduced that $215 million in beforehand awarded American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds could be disbursed to colleges throughout the island forward of the brand new faculty 12 months. These funds will assist meet the wants of scholars and educators and can be utilized for helps together with psychological well being providers, educational restoration, educator skilled growth, and group and household partnerships. Funding from the American Rescue Plan can be serving to to spice up compensation for educators in Puerto Rico. Starting this month, public faculty academics on the island began receiving a $1,000 month-to-month wage improve that was made attainable by means of the vital federal funding. This can be a 30 p.c improve for the common trainer in Puerto Rico.
“One 12 months in the past, I met with Secretary Ramos Parés for the primary time to debate the collaborative and clear work that we envisioned to serve college students in Puerto Rico. Since that day we have not stopped working to make sure that each pupil throughout the island has their truthful shot at success and for our academics to be handled with the respect and dignity that they deserve,” mentioned Secretary Cardona. “I am assured that we are going to proceed to work collectively as companions, for the scholars and educators of Puerto Rico and for the way forward for the island.”
Secretaries Cardona and Ramos Parés had been joined by Federal Emergency Administration Company (FEMA) Federal Catastrophe Restoration Coordinator Jose G. Baquero Tirado, and Ponce Regional Superintendent Dr. Roberto J. Rodríguez Santiago at Escuela Superior Dr. Pila to have a good time the start of the college’s reconstruction. Escuela Superior Dr. Pila has been closed for over two years attributable to infrastructure injury and is without doubt one of the largest colleges within the southern area of Puerto Rico to be disproportionately impacted by latest earthquakes. FEMA has obligated over $700,000 to the Puerto Rico Division of Schooling (PRDE) to assist the reconstruction of Escuela Superior Dr. Pila.
Earlier this 12 months, the Division of Schooling (Division) additionally permitted PRDE’s use of ARP funds for brief column repairs at colleges impacted by pure disasters. This funding helps to speed up repairs that may make colleges and lecture rooms safer and accessible for educators and college students. Since Secretary Cardona’s final go to to Puerto Rico in July 2021, over 275 colleges have had quick column repairs accomplished.
The Division continues to offer extra technical help to information PRDE’s administration of federal education schemes and funds. Moreover, the Division is constant formal listening classes throughout the island to listen to the wants of scholars, mother and father, educators, and stakeholders. These listening classes will lead to a Memorandum of Understanding to make sure that transparency stays on the forefront of the collaboration between the departments.
“We’ve got labored with the US Division of schooling to strengthen our academic applications, assist our workers with higher know-how and educational instruments, and equip our college students with extra assets for an optimum studying expertise,” mentioned Puerto Rico Division of Schooling Secretary Eliezer Ramos Parés . “We proceed to face the infrastructure challenges of our campuses, managing the distribution of the federal funds and guaranteeing their correct use. I respect the assist of Secretary Cardona and his crew and I am assured that communication between us will stay open and we’ ll be proactive to offer an academic system that meets the wants of our college students.”
“FEMA stays dedicated to the Island’s reconstruction after the hurricanes of 2017 and the 2020 earthquakes. Colleges are a core a part of the island’s socioeconomic growth and that’s the reason we’re allocating funds for amenities that may prepare our future leaders. Obligated funds for these colleges is not going to solely construct again higher: they may also mitigate dangers from future pure disasters,” mentioned the Federal Catastrophe Restoration Coordinator for FEMA in Puerto Rico, José G. Baquero.
Since day one, the Biden-Harris Administration has been dedicated to making sure that college students on the island have equal alternatives at success and the assets wanted to completely get better academically from the impacts of the pandemic. As we speak’s actions complement steps the Administration has taken to proceed supporting schooling outcomes for college students in Puerto Rico.
As of July 2022, the division has launched practically $6 billion to the PRDE together with:
- $2.9 billion from the American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary College Emergency Aid Fund (ARP ESSER) and Homeless Youngsters and Youth (ARP HCY);
- $1.9 billion from the Coronavirus Help, Aid, and Financial Safety Act (CARES Act); Governor’s Emergency Schooling Aid Fund (GEER Fund); Coronavirus Response and Aid Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSA Act); and
- $1 billion in FY 2021 and FY 2022 program grants.