While the Board of Education laments that the Department of Finance has yet to remit funds specifically intended to repair schools on Saipan, Finance notes that some schools have yet to ask for it.
BOE chair Janice Tenorio told Saipan Tribune over the weekend that the Finance Department has yet to remit the money allocated to public schools under the recently passed Saipan Local Law 21-10, which was enacted last Oct. 3.
“We haven’t received some of the [supplemental appropriations] but we will receive some soon because we have been working with the Finance [Department],” she said Friday.
The Public School System reported to the BOE last Thursday that the Finance Department still owes the system about $745,000, based on S.L.L. 21-10. This money goes to the repairs and operations of schools all over Saipan, including the Admiral Herbert G. Hopwood Middle School.
In a separate interview, Finance Secretary David Atalig told Saipan Tribune that each school has to submit requests for the funds before it can be remitted.
“…It’s not that we don’t [transfer the monies] but, in order for me to transfer that, I usually get a letter of request for the funds,” Atalig said.
The $745,000, according to the secretary, will be divvied up among most of the schools on Saipan. Atalig said his office first needs to receive a letter of request stating where the school plans to use the funds before it is released.
“In the last week or two, there were three requests for three different schools, which we transferred,” he said. “It’s not money to be used for payroll or any other operations. It is specific in the law that it is for a specific school for a specific maintenance or operational cost for that specific school,” he added.