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BOE reiterates injunction directive to education commissioner

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THE Board of Education on Wednesday voted 3-2 to again direct Commissioner on Education Dr. Alfred Ada to file for an injunction against the Torres administration.

Alfred Ada

It was BOE member Phillip Mendiola-Long who moved “to direct the [commissioner] to immediately file the…lawsuit against the CNMI government in regards to the inaccurate allotments being made to the Public School System for fiscal year 2020 in violation of the CNMI Constitution.”

Besides Mendiola-Long, BOE members Andrew Orsini and MaryLou Ada voted yes while BOE Chairwoman Janice Tenorio and vice chairman Herman Atalig voted no.

The first time the board voted 3-2 in favor of filing an injunction was on Feb. 26, 2020.

During the BOE meeting on Wednesday, the commissioner said: “The majority of the board voted to file the injunction, and I support the majority’s decision. This is how we teach the students that as citizens, we must accept the outcome and work with the decision [of the majority]. We are obligated to practice the democratic process.”

He said he wants to move forward. “The PSS management and I never lose sight of [the need to] reach out to the schools to support their learning needs. I want to assure the school system that we will stand together to fulfill our duties as educators to mold the great minds of our future generation by providing optimal education for all.”

Earlier, the BOE also approved a 16-hour work cut for PSS employees as part of the government’s across-the-board budget cuts.

“These cuts are necessary — these reductions are part of the board’s effort not to shut down the schools,” said PSS/BOE legal counsel Tiberius Mocanu.

“These cuts and the injunction, which will pursue additional funding for PSS, are working in tandem. It is not one or the other. The cuts need to occur in order to deal with the reality of today. The injunction seeks to get more funding so that these cuts will be rescinded, and PSS can move forward,” he added.


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