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Realities of Education In Puerto Rico

In the wake of the 2008 recession and financial crisis, hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, the 2020 earthquakes, and the COVID-19 pandemic, Puerto Rico has seen an unprecedented mass migration to the mainland. As a result, the local Department of Education has been forced to shut down close to 700 schools. Students have found themselves locked out of facilities and needing to travel long distances to access the nearest school, most of which are dilapidated and overcrowded.

Facts on Education in Puerto Rico

National Rank

According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), Puerto Rico students ranked last in mathematics academic proficiency out of all U.S. states that took the exam in 2019.

Test Scores

Based on 2015 scores, the last time Puerto Rico participated in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) International Academic Achievement assessment for 15-year-olds worldwide, Puerto Rico ranked last in mathematics and science, and second to last above only Thailand in reading.

Problem of Access

High-performing private bilingual schools in Puerto Rico can cost anywhere between $10,000 to $20,000 a year, while the median income remains in the $20,000 range, making these schools accessible only to the top 5% of the population.

Problem of Availability

Near 100% of families yearn for school choice options like those available on the mainland, with close to 300,000 families moving to the mainland during the past decade seeking a better educational system for their children, with most moving to Florida, Texas, and Massachusetts.

An Island Where No One is Left behind

In Puerto Rico, the educational system is divided into two distinctive systems: one for the haves (five percent of the population) and one for the have-nots (the remaining 95 percent who struggle to provide the same level of resources for their children's education). On the one hand, parents who can afford excellent private school systems that cost upwards of $20,000 a year have access to amazing facilities, educational programs, and bilingual education.

Working Together to Reform Education

Puerto Rico is in dire and desperate need of improved educational facilities and academic programs that provide adequate resources for students to learn. Paradiso College Prep is the only entity with the right model and focus to make this dream a reality for island students.

Our mission is to bring about the advancement and long-needed change in the education system in Puerto Rico by ensuring access to quality education for all. We partner and collaborate with the government, policymakers, faith-based organizations, local NGOs, and the private sector to achieve this goal.