$90 Million Dollars in Federal Funds for DOE Need to Be Spent by September 30th

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Guam -Nearly $90 Million in Federal Funds are at stake if the Guam Department of Education doesn’t use the money by September 30th of this year.

The dollars made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act are needed to go toward Capital Improvement Projects at Guam’s 36 Public Schools.  DOE Superintendent Dr. Nerissa Underwood says Guam DOE plans to also use the funding for Professional Development, Technology Improvements and Updating the Departments Financial Management System.

Underwood says a bill introduced by Senator Judi Won Pat would expedite the paperwork process for spending the funds but she also hopes Congresswoman Madeline Bordallo can work to extend the deadline for Guam to use the ARRA money.

“Our other approach is to have Congresswoman Bordallo work to give Guam and other Insular areas additional time,” Underwood said.  She explained that the applications for ARRA funding were given to Territories much later than they were offered to the 50 states.

Underwood adds that a recently completed assessment of the DOE’s schools by engineering firm Sodexo will help DOE prioritize renovations and repairs to use the ARRA funding toward.

“That (assessment) was also ARRA Funded” Underwood said.  “The results can be used to develop a plan over the next five years concerning what to address first and to prioritize the maintenance.”

The 400-page assessment was delivered to Underwood late Friday afternoon so she says she hasnt been able to review the report in its entirety.