In anticipation of continuing financial hardships, public schools are being encouraged to increase their education tax credit donations and do more fundraisers to help address the immediate needs of students come this new school year.
Education Commissioner Rita A. Sablan, Ed.D., made this known to school principals, emphasizing the critical need of the Public School System to meet the growing needs of students on three islands.
Sablan described both the education tax credit and fundraising monies as “non-appropriated” funds that could be used to address student needs and immediate repairs on campus.
“We have to think outside of the box now. I encourage everyone of you to increase your school’s ETC and fundraising activities because these non-appropriated funds would be a big help to our students. We also need to explore more federal grants for our schools,” Sablan told participants of the leadership workshop held at Pacific Islands Club Wednesday.
PSS had stopped school-organized fundraisers in 2011 after it gave the full authority to the Parents-Teachers-School Associations to spearhead all fundraising campaigns—designed for specific and PSS-approved projects only. With this decision, many small-type fundraisers organized by students and clubs ceased.
The situation changed last year after many school clubs and students’ groups were allowed to hold fundraisers to be used for specific purposes such as competitions and projects.
Saipan Southern High School’s Manta Ray Band, through a series of fundraisers, was able to participate in the London Olympics, for example.
In past years, PSS recorded approximately about $100,000 in total educational tax credit for all its schools.