Governor Calvo Appeals to U.S. DOE for Another Extension in Use of ARRA Funds

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Guam – Governor Eddie Calvo is again asking the U.S. Department of Education for an extension on the use of ARRA funds.

This is the second request for an extension made by the Governor to U.S. DOE.

Governor Calvo says in a release that there are still millions of dollars in ARRA funds that have not been obligated and he doesn’t “want to lose that money, because our students and teachers need it” and he says he does not “understand why this money hasn’t been spent to fix the schools for our kids and teachers.”

He is also takes a poke at the Legislature saying : “This issue, which deals with millions in remaining unobligated ARRA funds for school repairs and air conditioning, has gone by without a single legislative oversight hearing.”

READ the Governor’s release in FULL below:

Guam DOE Gets Second ARRA Extension Request to Federal Counterpart
Governor makes request on behalf of DOE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 22, 2012

Governor Calvo – for a second time – has come to the Guam Department of Education’s assistance and requested U.S. DOE for an extension on the use of ARRA funds. Most of these funds are to repair public schools and have not yet been obligated.

“I don’t understand why this money hasn’t been spent to fix the schools for our kids and teachers,” Governor Calvo said. “This is the second time I’ve been asked to make this extension request. Let’s just hope U.S. DOE honors this second request.”

This issue, which deals with millions in remaining unobligated ARRA funds for school repairs and air conditioning, has gone by without a single legislative oversight hearing.

In a roundtable discussion held earlier this year, the legislative majority, specifically the budget chairman, expressed full confidence in DOE’s ability to make the repairs and spend this money on time.

“I can’t believe we’re here again,” Governor Calvo said. “I’ve spoken with the new superintendent about this and he’s just as concerned at the glacial pace of the repairs using this money.”

“We just need to fix those schools, that’s the bottom line,” Sen. Aline Yamashita said. “All of us who are parents or who have been parents of public school students know what the children and teachers and staff are going through. I hope U.S. DOE understands the situation and grants this second extension request.”

Governor Calvo asked Jon Fernandez during their first official meeting whether he wanted the extension. This follows a request by then-interim Superintendent Taling Taitano for the Governor to make this extension request to U.S. DOE. Fernandez responded – exasperated – that he wanted to use the pending deadline to push DOE to obligate as much as possible, then make the request. However, the deadline is only two months away.

“We’re running against the clock here,” Governor Calvo said. “I don’t want to lose that money, because our students and teachers need it.”