Puerto Rico to get $589M from Education Dept for hurricane relief
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos on Monday announced that Puerto Rico will be receiving $589 million in federal aid to help schools following the devastating hurricanes that crippled the island in 2017.
The federal funds will be administered under the Immediate Aid to Restart School Operations (K-12 Restart) program. The multiphased program is designed to award funds to schools impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria and the 2017 California wildfires.
“As communities get back on their feet in disaster affected regions, we continue to support them in every way we can,” DeVos said. “This additional funding will ensure students, teachers and staff have ongoing access to the services they need to fully recover and rebuild.”
Julia Keleher, Puerto Rico’s education secretary, said the assistance will help their schools recover while noting that nearly half the territory’s schools are operating at 60 percent of their capacity, according to The Orlando Sentinel.
“Creating new grant programs is a difficult task and [the Department of Education] should be applauded for how quickly it has been able to make this much-needed funding available,” Keleher said.
Both Texas and California are also set to receive funding under the same program. A total of $89.4 million is anticipated to be rewarded to the Texas education department, while California is expected to receive $14.4 million.