Puerto Rico says it will transfer more than 600 employees from the island's Department of Education to other divisions and agencies in a push to reorganize the government amid an economic crisis.

Public Affairs Secretary Jesus Manuel Ortiz said Thursday that more than 400 workers will be placed in administrative positions at public schools. The remainder will have administrative jobs at the police department to free some 1,200 officers from desk duties and allow them to return to the street.

The announcement comes as the administration of Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla prepares to eliminate or merge some agencies to cut costs as the U.S. territory's government struggles with $72 billion in public debt that it is trying to restructure.