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    Monday, May 21, 2018-10:11:28A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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PSS official: 81% of education budget goes to teachers, school staff

TEACHING staff and support personnel receive 81 percent of the Public School System’s annual budget, according to PSS budget and finance director Christopher Ching.

In a report to the Board of Education on Wednesday, he said $28.46 million was allotted for the schools’ personnel costs, but the projected year-end cost will reach $29.14 million mainly because of the new compensation plan that provides a pay hike for teachers and school staff.

“We have to share some of the [funding] with the other divisions and not just personnel,” Board of Education Chairwoman MaryLou Ada said.

The Board of Education meets with Public School System officials, Wednesday.  Photo by Lori Lyn C. LirioThe Board of Education meets with Public School System officials, Wednesday. Photo by Lori Lyn C. Lirio

BOE member Herman T. Guerrero said they should continue reminding government leaders “that educating the youth of the Commonwealth is a priority.”

He added, “We need to make them understand that it [education] is an investment.”

PSS teacher representative Paul Miura said cutting personnel costs is not the answer. “If you visit the schools you will see the problem of class size, [so cutting personnel costs] is not the direction you need to be heading in. Teachers are important in the school system. No program will thrive without highly qualified teachers,” he said.

Ching said in fiscal year 2018, which ends on Sept. 30, 2018, the CNMI government appropriated $36.377 million, plus a $12 million  supplemental budget for PSS. As of this month, he said PSS has received $30,476,269 from the central government.