Kilili: Law change gives PSS additional $4.3M

A change in the funding formula for schools in U.S. territories under a new law replacing the No Child Left Behind Act will result in an additional $4.3 million in funding for the Public School System, according to Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP).

Speaking in last week’s Chamber of Commerce monthly meeting at Hyatt Regency Saipan’s SandCastle, Sablan said, “We got that increase into the new law that replaces No Child Left Behind. [Northern] Marianas’ school funding should go up at least $4.3 million, for a total of $11 million next year, and every year thereafter, because of that change.”

Although it took about seven years for the change to materialize, Sablan explained to other members of Congress that schools in the Northern Marianas needed more financial help from the federal government because there are so many students who came from low-income families. For this reason, “helping our students and our schools is always at the top of our to-do list.”

Sablan also named a few examples of students from the Northern Marianas who have achieved educational success as of the present time.

For example, he said in 2015, there were 11 recipients of the Gates Millennium Scholars, two of which are summer interns at Stanford University and University of Virginia. In addition, Sablan has also met a young man who is going to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the fall under a full scholarship.

He said another man visited him in Washington, D.C. and said he was finishing his masters in Electrical Engineering at Stanford University. Finally, Sablan also received a note last July from a woman who is finishing her Ph.D and starting a fellowship in Congress. He says, “Think about that a community of just 50,000 people, producing so many high achieving students.”

All these achievements from students in the Northern Marianas, according to Sablan, should give the community “so much hope for our future.” He says, “This is why I believe that we can tackle our problems and solve them. And that is why we will continue to keep education at the top of our action list.”

Joan L. Taitano Author

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