Puerto Rico Teacher Victory and Penepé Political Opportunism

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BarrioIcon-Newsletter1x1According to this article, the Puerto Rico Supreme Court struck down the Governor’s plan to tweak the pension of island teachers. The government claims that the pension system is “$10 billion deficit and would run out of money by 2020.” But the court found their plan to give teachers less in retirement than what they put into the system unconstitutional.

Pro-statehood Resident Commissioner Pierluisi responded with: ”Taking away [teacher's] rights in a disproportionate manner is not fair.” He is right, but what a way to jump on the political bandwagon! It’s as if his party even cares about the island’s public educational system.

Wasn’t it under Pedro Rosselló’s pro-statehood administration that a Secretary of Education went to jail for stealing millions of dollars? Or under Luis Fortuño’s pro-statehood administration where university students were beaten by the police because they dared advocate for affordable, public education? What short term memory these penepés have.

This kind of political opportunism is sickening. Puerto Rico is in a bundle and its government officials don’t know how to get it out of it without flipping the bill on the public, destroying valuable human resources, and adequately addressing one, major root cause: the island’s political relationship with it’s imperial padrino. What a “Macondo” Borinquén continues to be.

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Xavi Burgos Peña

Xavi Burgos Peña is co-founder of La Respuesta magazine. He is a Boricua/ Dominicano of the Diaspora who has lived his life between New York City and Chicago. His professional experience is mostly in the area of community-building, including youth development, social marketing, and organizing against gentrification. His journalism credits include being editor and chief designer for Que Ondee Sola magazine, columnist for La Voz del Paseo Boricua newspaper, contributor to Gozamos magazine, and guest writer for Claridad newspaper in Puerto Rico. Contact: xavi@larespuestamedia.com