CNMI State of Education chair Herman Guerrero is a mite concerned over the shift in the U.S. Congress into the hands of Republicans, specifically in regards to the reauthorization of programs and grants under the Elementary Secondary Education Act, which funds many essential programs in the Public School System.
The CNMI will get over $30 million in federal educational funds this fiscal year. A large portion of this, according to Guerrero, is made up of consolidated grants under ESEA.
“We certainly would like to see the reauthorization [of ESEA] entertained by Congress,” he said.
He hopes Congress will also include the CNMI in the Race To the Top program, which he said they have been excluded from in the past.
ESEA was renamed the No Child Left Behind Act in its reauthorization in 2001. It has been reauthorized every five years since it was signed into law in 1965.
“NCLB is six years overdue for an update,” said U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan in a statement in August. He said that “some in Congress…would lock in major cuts to education funding” at a time when investment in education is “the only way” to remain globally competitive.
He supported a Democrat version of the bill passed in committee last June.
Guerrero would like to talk to U.S. Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan on the matter. He said he would like to know “what to expect” from this new Congress and from the delegate himself.
Sablan, a Democrat-caucusing independent, earlier said he is “not troubled by the change in party leadership [in Congress].”
“With the Republicans in complete control of Congress, the opportunities to advance any of my agenda items will shift. But I have built up a pretty good set of relationships with Republicans over the last six years. I wouldn’t have been able to get seven Republican chairmen to visit our islands this August if I didn’t have some friends on that side of the aisle,” he had said.