And the Puerto Rico Federation of Teachers marched Wednesday through the streets of Old San Juan, holding a 1-day strike as the fall school semester began amid budget cuts imposed by a federally appointed fiscal control board. Teachers are demanding a reconsideration to the closure of more than 250 public schools, an increase in teacher’s salary and no more privatizations of public schools. This is striking teacher Noelanie Fuentes Cardona.
Noelanie Fuentes Cardona: “They eliminate a budget, but nonetheless in the executive and administrative positions millions and thousands of dollars are wasted on salaries. But in the classroom, nothing is invested like it should. So we have the contradiction of closing job placements but hiring in other executive positions and distributing money in places that are not necessary. If there are budget cuts, they need to redistribute the small amount of money, or lack of, into the real necessities of the Department of Education—more teachers, facilities, structures, and materials for our students. If they speak and say that our children are first, let’s take that word into action. Let’s demonstrate if children are really first or if their pocket is first.”