Gov. Pedro Pierluisi, called in on the pretext that they would take a “reading comprehension workshop,” announced to 1,215 teachers and other temporary staff that they would be part of the Department of Education’s permanent staff as of Tuesday.

There were those who cried, those who laughed alone, or those who applauded with all their might. Others were texting on their mobile phones, as if telling their relatives the good news.

Mary A. Baez de Jesus couldn’t hide her joy after hearing the news during an event held at the Luis A. Ferré Fine Arts Center in Santurce. The second-grade teacher of the school, Manuel Ortiz Santiago de Yabucoa, assured that she had been fighting for this constancy for seven years.

He said that the surprise given to him by the governor was “extremely emotional. I did not expect.”

“My life will change completely, because now I feel security, stability, which I did not have. It gives us security and really motivates us to move forward with dedication to students,” he said in an interview with the publication First hour.

Another who really wanted to stay was Pedro Santiago Vega, a special education teacher at the Asunción Rodríguez de Sala school in Guayanilla. According to him, for the past three years, he worked at “Osvit” as a temporary employee, which limited him to buying a house and a car in his own name.

“I was invited via Outlook (email) for this seminar and I was pleasantly surprised after waiting so long. Indeed, they fulfilled us. I was one of the lucky ones who was able to get my perpetuity within three years because I have relatives who waited 10 years, eight years for perpetuity,” he said.

According to the governor, 1,215 tenured teachers are difficult to recruit. These included social workers, librarians, school counselors, and elementary English, bilingual, language, high school, special education, Montessori, physical education, fine arts, health, and computer teachers, among other fields..

“Now yes, now yes, it will officially become an integral part of our public education system. Education is one of the most important missions for my administration, because education is the key to progress and prosperity in the future,” Pierluisi said in his address to teachers.

As Minister of Education Eliezer Ramos Pares noted, the agency employs about 25,000 teachers. With this issue of permanency, there are about 2,000 temporary teachers left.

He explained that many of these teachers must be certified as educators in order to get tenure.

“We are gradually seeing that stability is being achieved and I am sure that in the coming months we will also give good news to the other pre-service teachers who I know are completing their certification,” he said.