Education Commissioner Dr. Alfred Ada has changed his mind and has decided to pursue the filing of an injunction that would guarantee the Public School System an annual budget of not less than 25% of the Commonwealth’s general revenue.
In a letter to Board of Education chair Janice Tenorio, Ada said he decided to support the filing of an injunction against the CNMI government because he wants to support PSS’ learning needs.
“I want to move forward with the daily operation and educational programs that are in place,” said Ada in his letter. “Aside from working at the pleasure of the board, the PSS key management and I never lose sight of reaching out to the schools to support their learning needs.”
Ada added that he supports the board’s decision to file the injunction against the central government.
“The majority of the board voted to file the injunction. I support the majority decision because that is how democracy works. For example, in the classroom, students vote for their class officers and whoever has the majority vote wins. We teach the students that, as a citizen, we must accept the outcome and work with the decision. We are obligated to practice the democratic process in real life as well,” he said.
Ada initially opposed the filing of the injunction. He now explained it in his letter to Ada that his initial stance was because he was thinking of the domino effect of the injunction on families and other government agencies.
“I thought of the position I hold as the commissioner of Education and my role is to protect the interest of the students’ educational welfare. I am saddened about the economic crisis that we are encountering at the moment but my passion for CNMI education stands strong, to protect the education of our students,” Ada said.
Ada said he wants to assure PSS personnel that he stands with them as they all share the same duties to mold student minds.
“I want to assure the school system that we will stand together to fulfill our duties as educators to mold the great minds of our future generation by providing optimum education for all. Yes, all means all,” he said.
In his initial opposition to the injunction, Ada characterized it as being forced to authorize an injunction he does not support.
Three of the five members of BOE voted to file the injunction against the government to enforce the Supreme Court’s recent opinion in favor of PSS.
Tenorio and BOE vice chair Herman Atalig voted no, while Marylou Ada, Andrew Orsini, and Phillip Mendiola-Long voted yes to the filing of the injunction.