José Encarnación is a journalist for Centro de Periodismo Investigativo, a Puerto Rican publication, where he concentrates on education issues that include massive school closures even before the coronavirus pandemic as well as various scandals involving the island’s education budget. As a journalist and graduate student at the University of Puerto Rico, Encarnación knows the island well. He specialized in Caribbean history and the intersection of sports and society. He has worked as a news and sports reporter for Diálogo UPR, NotiCel and Metro Puerto Rico. In 2019, Encarnación received awards for Best Feature Article and Best Interview granted by the Puerto Rico Association of Journalists. (Its Spanish acronym is ASPPRO.) In 2016, Encarnación completed his B.A. in Journalism at the University of Puerto Rico and is currently working on his master’s thesis, which focuses on the political persecution that surrounded the 1966 Central American & Caribbean Games that took place in Puerto Rico.
Beat: The education crisis in Puerto Rico
This journalist is devoted to investigating and reporting about public education. Elements of the crisis in education include the recent arrest of the Secretary of Education and the corruption scandals around the Department of Education and the closing of almost 50% of the public schools. But problems have existed for decades. Bureaucracy, private contractors, and administrative fees take away most of the budget. Resources don’t get to the kids that need them. The reduction of the public university budget also constricts opportunities for education. This Reporter has a basic understanding of Puerto Rico’s history and its political and economic challenges. Specific coverage areas depend on the experience, background, interests, and skills of the Reporter. This journalist looks at the current political and economic policies affecting the access to effective and efficient public education. The journalist also commits to analyzing and understanding alternatives and practices that may contribute to solving the current education crisis.