The current manner in which the 25% of general revenue is being determined after earmarks provides little or no assurance that the Public School System will be adequately funded. We believe the intent of the guaranteed 25% minimum should be just that, a minimum requirement. Our true obligation is to provide a quality public education to our future leaders (the students).
It is our hope that PSS leadership, the Board of Education and our central government can come to an agreement on a budget that accurately identifies the funding PSS needs to fulfill its obligation of providing a quality public education without compromising/harming the wellbeing of our educators and the 10,000-plus students we serve.
CNMI-Ed will be leading a march on Tuesday, Oct. 1. We invite the entire public to join us in solidarity. Here is the message we will be sending:
Every CNMI PSS student should be afforded the opportunity:
• to attend a school system that has the necessary resources to recruit and retain highly effective and highly qualified teachers for every classroom. (Competitive salaries and a non-hostile work environment.)
• to attend a school system that has the necessary resources to provide a safe and conducive learning environment.
• and to have a BOE that will exhaust every option within its power to ensure that PSS has the necessary resources available which will provide the COE adequate resources and autonomy to carry out his/her mission.
The march will begin at the Oleai pavilions(3pm-4pm registration) and end at Minachom Atdao for peaceful demonstration and an informal townhall with our board of education and elected leaders.
Come out for a nice walk and respectful dialogue with all members of our beautiful community. If you cannot arrive in time for the march, still come to Minachom Atdao by 4:30pm to participate in the townhall.
Here are some questions many of us have for our leaders:
• Has the entire 25% of general funds due to PSS been paid on time?
• Have there been laws created that will enforce timely distributions in the future?
• Have all government leaders seen what PSS hopes to give our students in their budget proposals? If so, what could justify PSS receiving so little?
• Are we okay with the vast services being denied to our kids because of denied budget proposals?
• Is there any kind of negotiation or compromise being made between central government and PSS when mandating these budgets?
• If funding is increased, what services are we capable of including in our public educaiotn system that we don’t have now?
See you all tomorrow!
Alex Borja and CNMI-Ed Planning Officers