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In 2022, the PRDE certified a school enrollment of 259,535

Although Puerto Rico is geographically smaller, in 2019, it ranked among the 10 largest school districts, per pupil, of the over 13 thousand districts in the United States.


According to the School Profile[1] of the Department of Education of Puerto Rico (PRDE), the 2022 certified enrollment was 259,535, out of which 66,184 are K-3 students. This total number shows a 6.1% decrease or nearly 16,000 students less than the previous school year’s enrollment which totaled 276,413. For the 2019-2020 school year, the PRDE’s certified enrollment was 292,518, that is, 53,578 students less (15.48%) than the 346,096 students reported in the 2017-2018 school year. Ballotpedia[2] reported in 2021 that the Puerto Rico district could rank 6 among the 10 largest school districts in the United States, despite the enrollment decline. Of those 10 districts, New York was the largest, with 912,994 students, and Houston was the smallest, with 196,943.

The PRDE associated this reduction in student enrollment with the reduction in birth rate and the increase in immigration. The agency also stated that enrollment is projected to continue dropping over the next years, with up to 20% fewer students in the schools.[3]

Puerto Rico’s education system is comprised of seven Education Regions: Mayagüez, Arecibo, Ponce, San Juan, Bayamón, Caguas, and Humacao. Each region has Regional Education Offices (REOs) in charge of the department’s operations. The Secretary, who is designated by the State’s Governor, is the highest-ranking official of the Department, responsible for the efficient and effective administration of the public education system.

For years, PRDE has been the government agency with the largest number of employees in Puerto Rico. In 2022, it reported 45,771 employees.[4] In 2017, this figure was higher, with 54,031, which represents a 15% reduction. For the 2021-2022 school year, the number of teachers and teaching staff was 22,205, of which 3,317 were K-3 teachers.[5]






[1] Departamento de Educación de Puerto Rico. (n.d.). Perfil del Departamento de Educación. Retrieved October 25,2022, from

[2] Ballotpedia. Largest school districts in the United States by enrollment. (Retrieved August 8, 2023)

[3] Departamento de Educación de Puerto Rico. (2020, November). Ponencia del Departamento de Educación para el proceso de transición de gobierno 2020.

[4] Gobierno de Puerto Rico. (n.d.). Estadística de recursos humanos por agencia: Años fiscales 2019-2022. Retrieved February 25, 2022, from

[5] Departamento de Educación de Puerto Rico. (n.d.). Perfil del Departamento de Educación. Retrieved May 16, 2023, from