Lester Carlson, the director of the Bureau of Budget and Management Research, responded on April 24 to comments saying that the Guam Department of Education does need all the money appropriated in Public Law 37-5.
This followed a suggestion Carlson made to the 37th Guam Legislature to reduce the appropriation to GDOE by $10.8 million to fully fund the energy credit program in bill 83-37.
In an interview with the Pacific News Center, Judith Won Pat, the acting superintendent of GDOE, said no to the suggestions made by Carlson on April 21. She said that GDOE does need all the funds that were allocated and the island’s public school system already have plans for them.
Carlson, during an interview on Newstalk K57 with Patti Arroyo, on April 24, claimed the legislature was not pleased with his suggestion of “taking money” from GDOE. However, other than Speaker Therese Terlaje, he said, no other senator had any suggestions on how to fund the measure.
“None of the other senators there had a suggestion,” said Carlson. “Nobody had a suggestion as to maybe we could do this or maybe we could do that. They were just hellbent on trying to find the money, but don’t you dare take it from DOE.”
He explained his reasoning behind the suggestion, saying that if GDOE doesn’t have procurement capabilities, even if they had more money they would still need help.
“Why don’t you just reprogram half of what you already give them from local funds,” Carlson questioned? “Cause God knows even if you threw all the money in the world at them, they don’t have the manpower. They don’t have the procurement capabilities, they need help.”