Approximately $215 million in previously awarded American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds have been disbursed to schools across Puerto Rico to help meet the needs of students and educators. The funds can be used for supports including mental health services, academic recovery, educator professional development, and community and family partnerships. Funding is also helping to boost compensation for educators in Puerto Rico. Beginning last month, public school teachers on the island started receiving a $1,000 monthly salary increase that was made possible through the critical federal funding. This is a 30% increase for the average teacher in Puerto Rico.
“One year ago, I met with Secretary Ramos Parés for the first time to discuss the collaborative and transparent work that we envisioned to serve students in Puerto Rico. Since that day we haven’t stopped working to ensure that every student across the island has their fair shot at success and for our teachers to be treated with the respect and dignity that they deserve,” said US Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “I’m confident that we will continue to work together as partners, for the students and educators of Puerto Rico and for the future of the island.”
“We have worked with the U. Department of education to strengthen our educational programs, support our staff with better technology and instructional tools, and equip our students with more resources for an optimal learning experience,” said Puerto Rico Department of Education Secretary Eliezer Ramos Parés. “We continue to face the infrastructure challenges of our campuses, managing the distribution of the federal funds and guaranteeing their proper use. I appreciate the support of Secretary Cardona and his team and I’m confident that communication between us will remain open and we’ll be proactive to provide an educational system that meets the needs of our students.”
As of July 2022, the Department has released nearly $6 billion to the PRDE including:
- $2.9 billion from the American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ARP ESSER) and Homeless Children and Youth (ARP HCY);
- $1.9 billion from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act); Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER Fund); Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSA Act); and
- $1 billion in FY 2021 and FY 2022 program grants.