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Acknowledgments
Foreword
Introduction
School Choice 2001
About State Profiles
Glossary
Appendix
Selected Studies

THE STATES

Alabama

Alaska

Arizona

Arkansas

California

Colorado

Connecticut

Delaware

District of Columbia

Florida

Georgia

Hawaii

Idaho

Illinois

Indiana

Iowa

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

Maine

Maryland

Massachusetts

Michigan

Minnesota

Mississippi

Missouri

Montana

Nebraska

Nevada

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

North Dakota

Ohio

Oklahoma

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota

Tennessee

Texas

Utah

Vermont

Virginia

Washington

West Virginia

Wisconsin

Wyoming

U.S. TERRITORIES

Mariana Islands

Puerto Rico

 

School Choice 2001: What's Happening in the States

MARIANA ISLANDS

 

Background

The legislature of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) considered a comprehensive voucher program in 1996-1997. The public schools on the islands suffer from many of the problems that afflict public schools on the mainland. They are overcrowded and generally unsatisfactory. Many parents living near the worst schools have misrepresented where they live in order to avoid sending their children to those schools. There are no teachers unions, and support for school choice is nearly unanimous. Current school board policy mandates that students are to be bused to a particular school district. Students are not allowed to attend schools in districts other than where they reside.695

The CNMI public school system consists of 15 campuses of learning for school-age children from the age of 6 to 18. Of these campuses, 11 are elementary and six are secondary (grades 7-12). Kindergarten is offered. Two new schools--one elementary and one high school--are expected to open in 2002.696

In 1997, then-Governor Froilan Tenorio, a Democrat, and State Representative Heinz Hofschneider, an Independent, introduced the Parental Choice Scholarship Program. Under this program, the 12,000 students on the Mariana Islands would receive scholarships of up to $1,500 each to be redeemed at a school of choice.697 A watered-down version of this plan was approved by the education committee in late 1997, but after the governor failed to win reelection, the plan was never revisited.

Three-term elected Resident Representative Juan Nekai Babauta is a school choice advocate and supports voucher programs similar to one proposed by President Bush.698

Developments in 2001

No developments were reported.

Position of the Governor

Governor Pedro P. Tenorio, a Republican, has not made his position on vouchers known.

Contacts

Speaker Ben Fital
CNMI Legislature
P.O. Box 586
Saipan, MP 96950

Office of the Resident Representative of the CNMI
2121 R Street, NW
Washington, DC 20008
Phone: (202) 673-5869

Endnotes

695.Phone conversation with Pete Torres, Office of the Resident Representative of the CNMI, April 11, 2001.

696.See Mariana Islands Web site at net.saipan.com/cftemplates/pss/index.cfm.

697.The Blum Center's Educational Freedom Report, No. 49, July 25, 1997.

698.Phone conversation with Pete Torres, Office of the Resident Representative of the CNMI, April 11, 2001.

 

 


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