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Senate panel wants Education chief to clear up doubts about school closings


Designated Education Secretary Eliezer Ramos Parés

By The Star Staff


Senate President José Luis Dalmau Santiago said Monday that designated Education Secretary Eliezer Ramos Parés will be summoned again to the upper chamber to discuss the possible closing of schools.


“We will be summoning him to the Appointments Committee in an executive hearing so that he can look at the documents related to the closure of schools and after that we will be holding an executive hearing for the vote,” Dalmau Santiago said at a press conference.


“This is a hearing so that -- as he told us in the public hearing that there were not going to be school closures -- but there is an apparently legal document, already signed, authorizing a private company to close certain schools. A contract,” he added, noting that the document is in the Senate.


The education secretary has denied that schools are going to be closed.


“Lawmakers want him to clear it up,” Dalmau Santiago said. “He was very forceful in the public hearing saying that there was going to be no closing of schools and then that contract appeared. Well, let him explain to us what the contract is about.”


The Senate president said poor planning and a lack of sensitivity have caused certain schools to be closed that should not have been closed, including schools that served as shelters.


“We found ourselves in a process of flooding [due to record rainfall over the weekend]; schools that serve the community; mayors who have requested that they be transferred but they have not been transferred,” Dalmau Santiago said. “Well, since it has been such a sensitive matter, let the secretary clarify it.”

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