Spending plan OK for $160M ARPA funds assures jobs at PSS

No local match required for emergency protective measure grants
Posted on Aug 24 2021


Jobs of Public School System’s teachers and staff in the CNMI are now protected after the U.S. Department of Education announced the approval last Wednesday of PSS’ spending plan for the $160,074,578 that is included in the American Rescue Plan Act.

In his e-kilili newsletter over the weekend, Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (MP-Ind) said the $160-million will continue to protect the jobs of PSS teachers and staff in light of reduced local appropriations for education.

Education Commissioner Dr. Alfred Ada said the plan focuses on helping schools address the lost instruction time through high-dosage tutorials, socio-emotional counseling programs for students and staff, athletics and other programs that directly benefit student learning.

PSS will also be expanding career education programs and Chamorro and Refaluwasch language classes.

Meanwhile, Sablan said President Joe Biden announced Tuesday that no local match will be required for emergency protective measure grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency in response to COVID-19.

Sablan said this is a continuation of the 100% federal funding Biden decided on earlier this year, which expires on Sept. 30, 2021. He said the extension runs through Dec. 31, 2021.

Emergency protective measures include temporary medical facilities, specialized medical treatment, emergency medical transport and sheltering, food, water, medicine, and other consumable supplies such as personal protective equipment and hazard material suits.

Sablan said Biden’s extension order will allow the Marianas and other jurisdictions to receive 100% federal reimbursement retroactively for costs associated with the safe opening and operation of public facilities dating back to Jan. 20, 2020.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

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