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Annual grants for teachers, classrooms

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, Nov. 1, 2008) – The U.S. federal government will award the Public School System $33.7 million in grants in school year 2008-2009, according to PSS federal programs officer Tim Thornburgh.

Seventy-one percent of this amount, or $24 million, will be used for the schools while 29 percent, or $9.6 million, will pay for the salaries of personnel working on federal programs and grants.

From the CNMI government, PSS is currently getting $35.4 million, of which $33.1 million, or 93 percent, will pay for the salaries of personnel. This leaves $2.3 million for the operation, utilities and supplies of the public schools.

2007-2008, PSS received $33.1 million in federal grants — 72 percent of the figure was used for the schools while the rest paid the salaries of federally funded employees.

The CNMI budget for PSS during the same period allocated only $1 million, or 3 percent, of the system’s budget for the schools, while $34.9 million went to the salaries of personnel.

During Thursday’s meeting of the Board of Education, Thornburgh said public schools are expecting additional federal assistance in the next few months.

These include the yearly Byrd Scholarship grants, the Compact-Impact money from the governor and the consolidated grant.

As of Thursday, however, PSS had yet to receive the $2 million in Compact money earlier allocated for public schools by the administration.

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