PSS receives $160 million from American Rescue Plan

BOE chair Orsini, Education Commissioner Ada thank Kilili
Posted on Mar 16 2021


This Feb. 23, 2021, file photo shows Board of Education chair Andrew L. Orsini, second from right, Education Commissioner Dr. Alfred B. Ada, rightmost, and PSS Federal Programs Officer Tim Thornburgh, leftmost, after a meeting with Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP). (PSS)

Board of Education chair Andrew L. Orsini thanked Delegate Gregorio C. Kilili Sablan (Ind-MP) yesterday for his efforts in helping the Public School System secure a $160-million grant included in the American Rescue Plan.

The U.S. Department of Education has a 30-day timeline to award the funds to PSS. Orsini said this is great news for PSS and provides assurance to classroom teachers, their students, and their parents that the federal government “has answered our prayers and come to our rescue.”

The Board of Education chairman reiterated that this is the third time this year that Sablan has responded to PSS’ request for additional funding for the education of CNMI students and salary funds needed for the teaching and support staff of PSS.

Education Commissioner Dr. Alfred B. Ada noted that this is the third Education Stabilization Grant that Sablan has helped PSS secure, with the first being a $23.3 million Education Stabilization Fund grant that PSS received in May of last year and the second being the $61 million received in January this year. Ada said these three Education Stabilization Fund grants guarantees that all teachers and PSS support staff will not experience a single payless payday.

“On behalf of all educators, I want to congratulate Congressman Sablan for his tireless efforts in securing the much-needed federal funds to fill a huge hole in the local budget allocation for PSS,” Ada said.

PSS Federal Programs officer Tim Thornburgh noted that these Education Stabilization Fund grants “will not only pay for salaries but can also be used to pay for the sanitation supplies needed at our schools to clean every classroom every school day.”

Further, Thornburgh stated that the Education Stabilization Funds can pay for the HVAC services needed for school air conditioners, technology such as laptops, iPads, MiFis, pay for mental health services, and a whole range of education services that directly benefit student learning and classroom teaching.

Sablan’s work as the U.S. House chairman of the Education Subcommittee on Early Education and K-12 Education, according to Thornburgh, enabled Sablan to earmark funds that directly benefit both public and private schools.

Ada said these three rounds of the Education Stabilization Fund come just in time and will greatly benefit the 10,052 students, teachers and the parents of public school students. (PR)

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