Chair Grijalva Praises Department of Education for Releasing $4 Billion in Education for Puerto Rico After Pressuring Previous Administration for Months

Washington, D.C. – Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) today praised the Department of Education for releasing nearly $4 billion in funds for Puerto Rico’s schools, a move announced as part of Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona’s visit to the island this week. The announcement comes after Grijalva and Chairman Bobby Scott (D-Va.) of the House Committee on Education and Labor sent a letter on July 16, 2020, to former Secretary Betsy DeVos demanding an explanation for why the Department had delayed distributing $662 million in congressionally approved emergency educational relief for Puerto Rico, and after Grijalva sent a letter in December of 2020 urging the then-incoming Biden administration to expand high-quality public education on the island.

The newly announced funds include:

  • $2 billion from the American Rescue Plan Act;
  • $1.2 billion from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSA); and
  • $662 million in previously undisbursed fiscal year 2020 program grants.

“This is a welcome and overdue development that the Trump administration had no good reason to put off,” Grijalva said today. “Earthquakes and hurricanes have done serious damage to Puerto Rico’s educational infrastructure and students are still struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic. The people of Puerto Rico urgently need these federal resources to get through this difficult period and rebuild. I look forward to continuing work with the Biden administration to improve quality of life for the people of Puerto Rico and the other insular territories.”

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