Puerto Rico will close 184 public schools as part of a broad effort to pull the U.S. territory out of a crippling debt crisis, officials announced Friday.
Roughly 27,000 students — mostly from kindergarten through fourth grade — and 2,700 teachers will be affected by the closures, which are set to take place before next school year.
The U.S. territory is in deep economic crisis. Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello said Wednesday that the commonwealth has filed for a type of bankruptcy to help restructure its more than $70-billion in debt after negotiations with multiple creditors failed.
The financial trouble has deepened as many people have left for the U.S. mainland in search of better jobs. Consequently, the population of school children has been in steep decline, making the education system an inviting target for cuts.