Press Release

AFT and AMPR on Release of Federal Funds for Education in Puerto Rico

For Release: 

Monday, March 22, 2021

Contact:

Alexis Lopez
305-878-9836
alopez@aft.org

WASHINGTON—Leaders of the American Federation of Teachers and the Asociación de Maestros de Puerto Rico, the union representing Puerto Rican educators, released statements welcoming the U.S. Department of Education’s announcement it has released $912 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act funds and Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act funds to support education on the island.

AFT President Randi Weingarten said:

“Educators, students and public schools in Puerto Rico have struggled with the lingering damages of devastating hurricanes and earthquakes—and with the COVID-19 pandemic, they need even more help to make sure every child on the island can access a high-quality public education. Former President Donald Trump and former Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos were completely negligent in offering help during these multiple disasters. Thanks to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona and the current administration’s Department of Education, help is finally on the way for these schools that, all too often, are forgotten. With these funds, educators, students and schools will finally get a fair shot at recovery.”

AMPR President Víctor M. Bonilla Sánchez said:

“The release of these funds represents an important step to support public education in Puerto Rico. We thank the U.S. secretary of education, Miguel Cardona, for expediting the release of the funds, and we applaud the support that the AFT has given us in this process. We trust that the government of Puerto Rico will make good use of these funds and address the urgent needs of our school communities, including improving and expanding educational services for our children, and addressing the deteriorated infrastructure of our schools.”

AFT Executive Vice President Evelyn DeJesus said:

“These funds are going to help transform education in Puerto Rico. Teachers will be attentive to the investments that our children need, and we will offer all our support in that process.”

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.