Méndez Núñez demands prompt confirmation of Education secretary
By John McPhaul
After Sen. Javier Aponte Dalmau, the spokesman for the majority in the upper chamber, stated that designated Education Secretary Eliezer Ramos Parés will have to appear at another public hearing, the spokesman for the minority in the House of Representatives, Carlos “Johnny” Méndez Núñez, demanded that Ramos Parés be confirmed without further delay.
“Enough of delays. We have been without a confirmed Secretary of Education for more than a year,” Méndez Núñez said in a written statement. “The Acting Secretary has been in office since April 2021. The Senate has confirmed his interim appointment twice. Since last November the appointment for the position has been ‘in property’ and it has not yet been voted down. The secretary attended a public hearing on January 18 before the Appointments Committee and answered each and every one of the questions that were put to him, including the allegation of school closures, something that he denied for the legislative record.”
Méndez Núñez’s reaction came after Aponte Dalmau stated that Popular Democratic Party senators want to ask about the closure of schools, something that Ramos Parés has already said he rejects.
“The caucus has not taken place after the hearing [Ramos Parés] had. Countless other nominees also passed,” the senator said in a radio interview. “The determination of whether it was made the week before the caucus is that Eliezer has to be brought in to answer some questions about the issue of school closures.”
So far, no other summons are on the Senate calendar for the secretary to speak again on the matter.
Both Ramos Parés and Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia have rejected the idea of further school closures.