CNMI Board of Education chair Andrew L. Orsini and Education Commissioner Dr. Alfred B. Ada expressed gratitude yesterday to Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP) for his efforts in helping the Public School System secure a $61.7 million Education Stabilization Fund grant from the U.S. Department of Education.
Ada noted that this is the second Education Stabilization grant that Sablan has helped PSS secure, the first one amounting to $23.3 million that was received in May last year. Ada said these two ESF grants will guarantee that all PSS teachers and support staff will not experience a payless payday.
“On behalf of all educators, I want to [thank Delegate] Sablan for his tireless efforts in securing the much-needed federal funds to fill a big hole in the local budget,” Ada said.
The ESF is a component of the Coronavirus Relief Act of 2020.
PSS Federal Program officer Tim Thornburgh noted that this second ESF grant will not only pay for salaries but can also be used to pay for sanitation supplies needed in all schools to clean every classroom every school day. It can also pay for the HVAC services needed for school air conditioners, secure technology gadgets such as laptops, iPads, and MiFis for students, pay for mental health services, and pay for a whole range of education services that directly benefit student learning and classroom teaching.
Sablan’s work as chairman of the Education Subcommittee in the U.S. Congress, according to Thornburgh, enabled him to make changes to the ESF that directly benefit both public and private schools.
Orsini said that Round 2 of the Education Stabilization Fund comes just in time and will greatly benefit the 10,052 students, their teachers, and the parents of all public school students on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota. (PSS)