Puerto Rico Department of Education

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Department of Education of Puerto Rico
DE Logo '17 Redondo Blanco.png
Agency overview
FormedApril 12, 1900; 119 years ago (1900-04-12)
Preceding agency
  • Department of Public Instruction of Puerto Rico
TypeExecutive department
JurisdictionExecutive branch of the government of Puerto Rico
HeadquartersSan Juan, Puerto Rico
Annual budget$3.5 billion USD
Agency executive
Key documents

The Department of Education of Puerto Rico (Spanish: Departamento de Educación de Puerto Rico) is the executive department of the government of Puerto Rico responsible of managing state-operated schools in Puerto Rico as well as its education system and curricula.[1] The department, headquartered in the Hato Rey area of San Juan,[2] is the result of a United States state department of education and only one of two in the United States composed of a single school district (Hawaii being the other). It is also the largest agency of the executive branch of Puerto Rico, with, as of 2013, an annual budget of more than $3.5 billion USD and over 72,000 staff—including more than 41,000 teachers.[3][4] The department is also the third largest school district in the United States by enrollment, with over 473,000 students and over 1,500 schools.[5][6]

The department was formerly known as the Department of Public Instruction of Puerto Rico (Spanish: Departamento de Instrucción Pública de Puerto Rico). Under local law, all public schools are required to be licensed by the Puerto Rico Education Council ("Consejo de Educación"). The existence of a physical plant, the presence of labs and a library, and sanitary conditions, a well as a satisfactory curriculum and properly trained teachers, are all factors considered in the process. The licensing is an important consumer rights issues for parents in both public and private schools. The licensing makes it more straightforward for parents when evaluating schools for their children relating to both quality and compliance. It also clarifies the remedies available to parents where their children's education falls below the expected standard. It was legislated to provide parents of students attending public schools the same level of protection as parents in private schools, by requiring the minimum standards of quality applicable to private school attendees.


In 2017, Julia Keleher became the department's secretary. That year, due to a budget crisis, the department announced that 187 schools would close. This number was revised to 179 shortly afterwards.[7]

Receiving no maintenance once shuttered, the schools caused blight in many communities that subsequently hoped to use the school buildings and premises for other purposes.[8] In Lares, it was decided that unused public schools, including one in Piletas Arce (on Puerto Rico Highway 129), would be transformed for use by the agricultural industry of Lares.[9]

School uniforms[edit]

The department requires all students to wear school uniforms and only disallows them for medical exemptions.[10]



  1. ^ "Data for the Biennial Report to Congress on Violence and Drug Use in Elementary and Secondary Schools in Puerto Rico Archived 2014-05-27 at the Wayback Machine." Puerto Rico Department of Education
  2. ^ Home page. Department of Education of Puerto Rico. Retrieved on May 6, 2017. "Dirección Física: Ave. Tnte. César González, esq. Calle Juan Calaf, Urb. Industrial Tres Monjitas, Hato Rey, P.R. 00917"
  3. ^ ¿Cómo negociar con el Departamento de Educación de Puerto Rico? (in Spanish), Department of Education of Puerto Rico, archived from the original on 2014-05-28, retrieved August 5, 2013, El Departamento de Educación es la agencia más grande de toda la Rama Ejecutiva del Gobierno del Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico. Esta agencia cuenta con alrededor de setenta y dos mil (72,000) empleados, distribuidos en 1,538 escuelas, ochenta y cuatro (84) distritos escolares, diez (10) regiones educativas y una oficina central.
  4. ^ Presupuesto Aprobado 2012–2013 Departamento de Educación (in Spanish), Office of Management and Budget of Puerto Rico, retrieved August 5, 2013
  5. ^ Sable, Jennifer; Plotts, Chris; Mitchell, Lindsey; Chen, Chen-Su (November 2010), Characteristics of the 100 Largest Public Elementary and Secondary School Districts in the United States: 2008–09 (PDF), Institute of Education Sciences, retrieved August 5, 2013
  6. ^ Miller, Gary; Lugo, Ariel (June 2009), Guide to the Ecological Systems of Puerto Rico. (PDF), International Institute of Tropical Forestry, retrieved August 4, 2013, ... making it the third largest school district in the United States.
  7. ^ Coto, Danica (2017-05-05). "Puerto Rico to close 184 public schools amid crisis". ABC News. Retrieved 2017-05-06.
  8. ^ https://www.metro.pr/pr/noticias/2019/06/11/bayamon-busca-se-declaren-estorbo-10-escuelas-cerradas.html
  9. ^ https://www.metro.pr/pr/noticias/2017/04/21/dtop-traspasa-escuelas-desuso-municipio-lares.html
  10. ^ Reglamento de Estudiantes (PDF) (in Spanish), Department of Education of Puerto Rico, archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-05-28, retrieved March 22, 2009

External links[edit]