General Counsel Charlie Rose, along with other senior Department officials, including Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education Carl Harris, and Deputy Chief of Staff Eric Waldo, are visiting Puerto Rico this week as part of the U.S. Department of Education’s ongoing monitoring and compliance of the Puerto Rico Department of Education (PRDE) and their use of education dollars.
“I continue to be impressed with the strong progress that Governor Fortuño and his team are making. Since his first meeting with Secretary Duncan in 2009, Governor Fortuño pledged to work closely with the U.S. Department of Education to improve educational outcomes for all of Puerto Rico’s students, and to improve the performance of the Puerto Rico Department of Education on monitoring and compliance more generally. Because of the substantial efforts of the Governor, his Secretary of Education, and the rest of his Education Task Force, we hope to be able to move beyond the compliance agreements of the past, while remaining partners in the future.”
The full U.S. Department of Education team conducted meetings all week, receiving progress reports by PRDE, the Governor’s Education Task Force, providing technical assistance, and culminating in an exit visit on Thursday with Governor Fortuño. PRDE has been plagued with a myriad of compliance issues in the past, resulting in several legal agreements between the U.S. Department of Education and PRDE. Those agreements will come to an end shortly, pending a final determination by the U.S. Department of Education after assessing the reports from this trip and PRDE’s most recent submission to the Department.
Waldo, a member of the President’s Task Force on Puerto Rico’s status also noted, “We remain committed to providing Puerto Rico with ongoing and robust technical assistance so we can work together to drive and improve student achievement.”