Education board OKs creation of PSS Foundation

Posted on Apr 17 2012

The Board of Education approved Monday the creation and establishment of the Public School System Foundation, which will serve as the system’s main fundraising arm.

Following the approval of the organization’s charter and bylaws, Education Commissioner Rita A. Sablan said they will apply for the foundation’s license as a non-profit group.

The newly formed foundation has named 10 interim members to its board of directors: five from the board—Marylou S. Ada, Lucy Blanco-Maratita, Herman T. Guerrero, Galvin Deleon Guerrero, and Tanya King—and five from the management side— Commissioner Sablan, associate commissioner for administration Glenn Muña, federal programs officer Tim Thornburgh, finance director Richard Waldo, and financial consultant Ed Tenorio.

On Monday, all interim directors were asked to donate $100 each to serve as seed money for the foundation as it begins acquiring licenses and others.

Sablan said the creation of the PSS Foundation is historic as this will greatly help in addressing the financial challenges of schools and students using “non-appropriated funds”—money that’s outside the annual budget allocation of the local government.

Sablan said the foundation’s annual meeting is temporarily set on May 16, during which the board will lay out its plans and activities to get the things started.

“Today is historic in itself because we now take off to seek resources that we can use to leverage the cost of public education in the Commonwealth. We hope to look not just within the system, but will work with our alumni and corporations as well as other foundations that are outside the CNMI,” Sablan said, adding that the foundation will function just like the NMC Foundation.

Prior to the creation of the foundation, individual schools and school clubs and organizations would conduct their own fundraisers for specific needs. Sablan said that schools will still have the opportunity to do their own fundraisers. “All the more, the better [for our students],” she added.

Because education tax credit donations are also considered non-appropriated funds for schools, the new foundation will not affect ETC funds, Sablan said.

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