The Public School System in the Northern Marianas is preparing itself for more students once classes open in September because of the sluggish economy and the continued decline in private schools' enrolment.
The authorities, however, worry if they can hire enough teachers for the increasing number of students.
The public system maintains 19 elementary, junior and high schools on Saipan, Tinian and Rota, employing little over 500 teachers.
Last year, more than 11,000 students enrolled, which is about 1,000 more than three years ago.
One of the oldest private schools, Calvary Christian Academy, recently shut down because of falling numbers.