Puerto Rico's School System Can't Afford Nighttime Guards Anymore, And Thieves Have Been Having A Field Day

Puerto ricoREUTERS/Alvin BaezA pedestrian passes a closed shop with a for sale sign outside, along Paseo de Diego in San Juan’s Rio Piedras district, September 3, 2013.

Puerto Ricans are enduring another
round of austerity cutsas it works to close
an $US820 million deficitand satisfy bondholders who own
$70 billion-worth of Puerto Rican debt.

Now, there’s been a rash of break-ins because the island’s school system cannot afford nighttime guards, according to the island’s El Nuevo Dia newspaper.

On Friday, a middle school reported $US30,000 worth of electrical equipment had been lifted.

And earlier this month, two computers were stolen from an elementary school. Two men were also arrested for having stolen $US20,000 worth of supplies in August.

One legislator has introduced a bill that would up the penalty for stealing from the state school system.

“Given the relative lack of funds that we’re experiencing, we must safeguard property and guarantee that the education of our students won’t be affected,” El Nuevo Dia quoted Rafael “Tatito” Hernández as saying. “Stealing from children must be met with the full weight of the law, which is we are submitting this bill. We cannot be soft when it comes to stealing from schools.”

Last week, S&P confirmed its outlook for the rating for the island’s as BBB- with a negative outlook.

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