The Public School System will no longer be taking out a loan with the Marianas Public Land Trust.
In an interview with Education Commissioner Dr. Alfred Ada, he said a loan is no longer necessary due to the recent allocation of $1.3 million from the central government to PSS and the $22.3 million it expects to get from the CARES Act.
“We’re not going for the loan. I spoke with our legal counsel [yesterday] and he and I agreed that the loan is not necessary anymore. If we don’t have to, then let’s not,” he said.
Ada said it’s in the best interest of PSS not to take out a $5 million loan so that PSS doesn’t go into more debt than it already is. “I don’t want to put PSS in more debt than it has to be,” he said.
PSS teachers were paid yesterday for 80 hours or pay period 8. Pay period 9 of 72 hours, and pay period 10 of 16 hours is expected to be paid off in the next week or so since PSS is expecting to receive their allocation from the CARES Act in the next week.
According to Saipan Tribune archives, PSS was officially awarded over $20 million from the CARES Act last Tuesday and is expected to receive the funds as soon as next week.
Ada said that all required documents and the application have been submitted and received by the U.S. Department of Education and PSS is expected to receive the funding sometime next week.
Last Wednesday, Finance Secretary David DLG Atalig transferred $1.3 million to PSS to cover the last two pay periods. However, Ada said the money was only enough to cover one pay period.
The MPLT loan was PSS and the Board of Education’s “quickest solution” to getting over 800 locally funded PSS staff paid since they have not received their salaries since April. The loan was also expected to cover PSS’ debt to their vendors and the summer pay for locally funded teachers.