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BOE, PSS discuss budget issues with teachers

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THE Board of Education on Tuesday evening met with Public School System principals and teachers at Saipan Southern High School to discuss the recent CNMI Supreme Court’s slip opinion regarding the PSS budget and other financial issues.

Of over 600 PSS educators and administrators, less than 20 showed up for the meeting.

In an interview, BOE Chairwoman Janice Tenorio said the teachers’ main concern was their salary. “I assured them there will be no payless payday and there will be no further cuts to their salary,” she added.

Board of Education members and Public School System officials meet with teachers at Saipan Southern High School on Tuesday evening.  Photo by Lori Lyn C. Lirio

Education Commissioner Dr. Alfred Ada said the teachers were also concerned about the funding allotments for PSS.

Tenorio said the BOE and PSS may revisit the past budgets appropriated for PSS to determine how much is owed by the central government based on the high court’s slip opinion, but “if we demand [more] money now, the governor may have no choice but to close down other departments, and we don’t want that to happen.”

She added, “We are trying to convey to our teachers [the economic situation]. It is not PSS’ fault. It is not the governor’s fault. It is the recovery effort after Typhoon Yutu that really drained the central government,” she said.

BOE vice chairman Herman Atalig urged the teachers to be “patient.” “The [economic] situation is not right. We will fight, but when we fight, [we will make sure] we fight to win.”

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