SAIPAN – The public school system has a “strong” financial record for the 2016-2017 fiscal year, according to Burger Comer Magliari LLC’s accounting partner, David Burger.
In his presentation to the Board of Education on Wednesday, Burger said that increased funding from the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands government and federal grants have helped PSS financially.
For fiscal year 2016-2017, PSS received an additional appropriation of $ 10 million, allowing it to spend more on the construction of facilities.
âThe CNMI government credits and federal grants have gone up and that has helped everything,â Burger said in an interview. âPSS has spent mostly on student services and support and they still have money,â he said.
PSS has no loans, he said, and the only liability he has are compensated absences which include annual and sick leave amounting to around $ 3 million.
Burger said PSS is also up to date in its payments to the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. Over the past few years, PSS has racked up approximately $ 8 million in unpaid utility bills.
In a separate interview, BOE President MaryLou S. Ada said they were very careful when spending PSS money. âWe have come a long way, especially with travel authorizations which used to be a big problem. “
Previously, there were 30 to 40 travel authorizations. “There are only five left,” Ada said, adding that the trip they had canceled was minor and not compulsory.
Ada said PSS had $ 76 million in current assets, compared to a liability of $ 3 million.
âBasically, our financial situation is very strong. We can go out and borrow money. The federal government and the granting agencies will say that we are managing our money well. It’s a clean audit, âshe said.
It also helped that the federal grantor allowed PSS to carry over any balances to the next fiscal year, she added.
PSS has received a total of $ 48.9 million in federal grants for food services, the JROTC program and special education, Ada said.