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  • By Pacific Island Times News Staff

CNMI gets $74.4M for education

The CNMI is is getting another $74.4 million for education from the coronavirus relief measure enacted on Dec. 27.

The U.S. Department of Education said the relief act set aside $409 million for the four smaller U.S. insular areas, which was divided among them based on the formula in Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

According to Rep. Gregorio "Kilili" Sablan, of the $74.4 million for the Marianas, $61.7 million goes to the Public School System.

This will “guarantee that all of our classroom teachers and support staff will not experience a single payless payday,” PSS Commissioner of Education Dr. Alfred B. Ada said when the relief act was passed.

The balance of $12.7 million goes to the CNMI governor to use for educational purposes. This distribution is the same as was used for CARES Act funding in 2020; and Governor Torres gave his entire share, $4.8 million, to Northern Marianas College.

This time around the total funding is substantially increased, however, so the governor could decide to provide more to PSS.

“With $102 million in federal funding in less than one year—over and above all the regularly appropriated annual federal education money for Title I and Special Education, et cetera—education in the Marianas has a solid foundation,” Sablan said, "even though the Commonwealth has been unable to meet its obligations because of the economic crisis caused by Covid.

“As chair of the House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education, I look forward to working with the incoming Biden administration to make sure America’s teachers, students, and school systems have the resources needed to reopen and continue the learning the pandemic has interrupted.”

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