Guam – As the Legislature and the Governor’s Office continue to debate Governor Calvo’s Spending Cuts Bill, the Department of Education is calculating the potential impact on Guam’s public schools if the early retirement option is approved.
“We’ve run the numbers and we identified 700 employees who have 20 or more years of service, of that 277 employees have 25 plus years of service” DOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez explained.
Fernandez discussed the potential impact of the provision on DOE during Wednesday’s Guam Education Board meeting.
According to Fernandez 136 teachers have 25 years or more in the system and another 164 have between 20 and 25 years of time in so DOE could see as many as 300 teachers retire early.
“They’re spread across schools,” Fernandez said. “some schools have significant amounts of teachers who are in this category.”
Teachers that could be eligible for early retirement make up 15% of the total number of teachers at DOE.
“It will force us to really think about how we’re going to back-stock or replenish the teaching in the classrooms or the services that we’re providing” Fernandez told PNC following today’s board meeting.
Other services provided by the department could be hit harder, 51% of the custodian staff, 43% bus drivers and 37% of the administrative staff could also be eligible to retire early according to numbers Fernandez provided to the board.
“Its a challenge it might be an opportunity as well to look at how we’re actually delivering services,” said Fernandez. “I think we need to do more analysis once we get closer to an end game here with the Governor and the Legislature.”
The board also discussed the payment of pay increments which they passed a resolution on at their last meeting.
Superintendent Fernandez says DOE has no authority to pay the salary increases because of a freeze ordered by the Governor. The board suggested that DOE keep track of the obligation so the increments can be paid after the freeze is lifted.