The Christian Science Monitor

In Puerto Rico, the public pushes for more say in school reform

Second-grade students attend class in the dark at the Escuela Rafael Hernández on March 15, 2018 in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. Source: Alfredo Sosa/Staff

It’s 9:15 am on a recent Thursday, and Raul Rosario Ramos’ class of second-grade students is practically glued to the blackboard. Mr. Rosario likes to think he makes mathematics fun, but the kids are scooched up close for another reason: the room is so dark it’s hard to see the lesson.

“When it rains like this, we have to adjust,” Rosario says. His students at the Escuela Rafael Hernández have been rearranging their desks depending on the weather and time of day ever since they came back to class in November following hurricane Maria. Half the school is still without electricity and almost one in three students didn’t return to school following the storm.

But, in early April, teachers and students learned that the lengthy power outage is no longer their biggest challenge. The school was listed as one of 283 public schools slated to close at the end of the academic year.

“The parents are organizing to fight the closure,” says

'Reform provides options' 'Unity around our school'

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