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PSS may file injunction vs. government

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THE Board of Education’s five voting members — chairwoman Janice Tenorio, vice chairman Herman Atalig, MaryLou Ada, Andrew Orsini, and Phillip Mendiola-Long — will meet today, Wednesday, to decide whether the Public School System should file an injunction to prevent the cash-strapped central government from imposing a 25 percent budget cut on PSS.

The BOE set the special meeting for Wednesday afternoon at the BOE office on Capital Hill.

The only item on the agenda was the word “Injunction.”

Asked for comment, Education Commissioner Dr. Alfred Ada said on Tuesday, “I did not plan for an injunction, but we will find out tomorrow [Wednesday] if the BOE votes on it.”

In light of the drastic drop in tourist arrivals amid a global novel coronavirus outbreak, the CNMI government has reduced its revenue projection by over $48 million in fiscal year 2020, and will soon implement across-the-board budget cuts.

For FY 2020, PSS is supposed to receive a budget of $37.7 million of which $34.8 million goes to payroll and $2.9 million for the operations of 20 public schools.

In an earlier interview, Ada said PSS has reduced its teachers’ salary by 25 percent since June 2019.

He added that PSS will continue to find ways to alleviate its financial problems.

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