Diann Woodard Visits Puerto Rico, Expresses Concern Over Public Education Cuts

In early March, AFSA National President Diann Woodard traveled to Puerto Rico to meet with local educators and President of Educadores Puertorriqueños en Acción Inc., AFSA Local 105, Domingo Madera.

Public education in Puerto Rico is currently threatened by proposed cuts to teacher’s retirement plans. The proposal may encourage teachers to retire this year to avoid pension cuts, leaving schools with a shortage of quality educators.

Educators in Puerto Rico already face challenges working in public education. They pay for school supplies out of pocket, do not receive Social Security benefits and have not had a salary increase in over a decade.

In a letter to Puerto Rico Governor Padilla, Woodard said, “I understand that Puerto Rico has many challenges and must reduce its deficit. However, quality public education provided by experienced educators is necessary for the future of Puerto Rico and its citizens. I urge you to reconsider the ill-advised proposal to slash pension benefits for Puerto Rico’s teachers.”

In addition to the letter to Governor Padilla, Woodard sent a letter to Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi echoing AFSA’s concerns with threats to Puerto Rico’s public education.