Puerto Rico’s Supreme Court has dismissed a legal challenge to the U.S. territory’s plans to allow charter schools and vouchers, spelling a potential end to one of the biggest controversies about the island’s education system since two major hurricanes hit the island last year.
Earlier this year, the island’s government approved a plan to create “alianza” schools, which are intended to be like charter schools, as well as a “free school” selection program similar to vouchers. The legislation creating both, signed by Puerto Rico’s governor and backed by Secretary of Education Julia Keleher, would create restraints on both programs: In the first year of the voucher-like program, for example, the number of students would be capped at 3 percent of total student enrollment, and then at 5 percent in the second year. Keleher said the programs would help the island’s educational system better meet students’ needs and help transform a long-struggling system.
However, the Asociación de Maestros de Puerto Rico, the island’s teachers’ union that represents nearly 30,000 active teachers, sued to stop the vouchers and charters in April.
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