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Lawmaker: More funding for PSS may mean less for other agencies

REPRESENTATIVE Angel Demapan, chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means, said the Public School System is in a much better state now to improve its services because of the supplemental budget of $10.2 million that the central government provided to PSS.

For fiscal year 2018, PSS is asking for a $54.4 million budget while the governor’s proposal amounts to just $36 million.

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Demapan said in the current fiscal year, PSS received a total of $46 million because aside from the annual appropriation of $36 million, it also received an additional $10.2 million in supplemental revenue.

“If we are to depart from the governor proposal [in FY 20018] then there will be significant cuts in other departments and agencies. That’s why we informed PSS today that we will seriously take into consideration their request based on their priorities,” Demapan said.

“And we will do our best to give them as much as possible without jeopardizing other critical government agencies such as healthcare, public safety and other vital services. We need to strike a balance. Although we seriously invest in the education of our children, we also have to safeguard the community and provide other critical services.”

Demapan said the highest priority of PSS right now is providing an attractive compensation package to recruit and retain teachers.

“PSS is challenged when they go abroad on recruitment efforts. They are challenged because PSS offers a compensation package lower than that which other states can offer. So to recruit teachers to come to the commonwealth, they need to offer incentives in the form of higher compensation.”

Demapan said the administration expects another supplemental budget this year.

“So again we will be able to shift some of those resources to PSS. We won’t be able to come up with exactly what they are asking, but we can shift some of the supplemental resources to education.”

Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/96441-lawmaker-more-funding-for-pss-may-mean-less-for-other-agencies

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