PUERTO RICO — Puerto Rico is scheduled to close 283 schools this summer caused by a sharp drop in enrollment numbers, according to CNN.
The education department said since May schools have lost 38, 762 students.
The island is still trying to rebuild after Hurricane Maria swept through, devastating Puerto Rico. Maria left millions of Puerto Ricans without electricity and running water.
Half of the existing schools are at 60 percent capacity, the department said. This enrollment percentage is the reason only 828 schools will reopen in August, according to CNN.
According to CNN, Education Secretary Julia Keleher said the plan to close the schools is a tough decision.
Keleher told CNN, "We know it's a difficult and painful process. For this reason, we've done it in the most sensible way taking in consideration all the elements that could impact the daily lives of some families and the school communities in general."
Lyman Stone, an economist working to help Puerto Rico with population projections, told CNN he estimates the island's population will continue to shrink.