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Monday, April 21, 2014

PSS’ Sablan, Inos meet on CW fee issue

Education Commissioner Dr. Rita A. Sablan disclosed yesterday that she met with Gov. Eloy S. Inos last week to discuss, among other topics, the issue of contract worker’s fees allocated to public schools each year.

Sablan hinted that she was given assurance that the Public School System will continue to receive funding from CW fees.

Inos earlier bared plans to re-allocate the CW fees U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services remits to the CNMI government to help private companies pay for the salaries of U.S. eligible workers they employ.

Each year, about $500,000 of the $1.5 million the CNMI government collects from CW fees is earmarked for public schools. Other institutions like the Northern Marianas College and Northern Marianas Trade Institute also get a share of these fees.

“As far as CW fees are concerned, I am hopeful the governor will continue to support the initiative of PSS when it comes to CTE programs (career technology education) because this effort aims to provide the workforce development goal that the CNMI has,” Sablan told Saipan Tribune.

Sablan said that CTE program actually needs $1 million in order to expand and enhance it.

“PSS is really counting on those dollars and I hope that if there’s any plans to do any kind of reallocation, there’s going to be a conversation with all the institutions to identify priorities and programs to ensure we address the needs of workforce in the Commonwealth,” she said.

CTE is the former vocational education program of PSS. Unlike vocational education, many clusters are offered for CTE, benefiting more students. Among the subjects offered under the CTE program are nursing assistantship, tourism and hospitality, computer technology, automotive, agri-science, business education, and culinary arts. These are available in public secondary schools and selected middle schools.

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