DOE & Governor’s Office Declare: “No Danger of Late Start to School Year, Despite News Reports”

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Guam – The Governor’s Office and the Guam Department of Education jointly issued a news release Wednesday evening stating “There is no real danger of next school year starting late, or schools being consolidated, despite news reports.”

The joint release calls on island media to “clarify that language passed in the resolution by the Guam Education Board “was meant to convey only a doomsday scenario, where DOE receives none of the 15 percent reserve.” 

The statement declares: It is highly unlikely this will happen.”  And the statement also points out thatMost of the reserve was released last fiscal year to ensure DOE’s stable operations.”

Both the Governor’s Office and DOE fully understand that at least part, if not most or all, of the reserve will be released so DOE can meet its core and critical functions without jeopardizing payroll or instructional quality.”

As PNC News reported Tuesday night, following the Board meeting, Guam Education Board members did approve a resolution that grants Superintendent Jon Fernandez authority to implement “all necessary cost cutting measures” if the 15% reserve request is not approved by the Governor’s Office.

View the PNC News report HERE

PNC News also reported that the resolution was passed on the heels of a Friday memo from Fernandez to the Board in which the Superintendent warned that without the reserve funds  “the department will have no option but to take action to cut expenditures that will negatively affect education instruction, departmental operations and employee morale.”

The memo states that among the options are:

  • Shutting off air conditioning units for half or more of the school day
  • Immediate implementation of a hiring freeze
  • Changing pay structures for Limited Term Appointees/Special Contract Employees
  • Suspending Special Pays for Teachers and Administrators
  • Rescheduling the opening of the 2013-2014 School Year to October 1, 2013
  • Consolidation of schools

READ the joint release from Guam DOE and the Governor’s Office below:

There is no real danger of next school year starting late, or schools being consolidated, despite news reports.

The Governor’s Office and DOE ask media partners to clarify that language passed in the resolution by the Guam Education Board was meant to convey only a doomsday scenario, where DOE receives none of the 15 percent reserve. It is highly unlikely this will happen. Both the Governor’s Office and DOE fully understand that at least part, if not most or all, of the reserve will be released so DOE can meet its core and critical functions without jeopardizing payroll or instructional quality. Most of the reserve was released last fiscal year to ensure DOE’s stable operations.

The Governor’s Office, the Department of Education, and the Bureau of Budget and Management Research have been working closely together since Superintendent Jon Fernandez came on board on a number of issues. Finances, though short in every agency including DOE, have been relatively stable. DOE has lived within the fiscal realities, cutting its power consumption and holding the line on spending outside payroll and other necessary costs.