DOE Is Broke, Emergency Declared, Schools Could Close By Monday

289

Guam – School Superintendent Dr. Nerissa Underwood has declared a State of Emergency for the Guam Public Schools and she has called the Guam Education Board into an emergency meeting Friday to discuss the problem.

Guam’s Public Schools could shut down as soon as Monday unless DOE gets a minimum of $5 million dollars by this Saturday September 11th in order to make it through the end of the current fiscal year on September 30th.

Read the Certificate of Emergency

Last week DOE was seeking a minimum of $8 million, but Superintendent Underwood says their bottom line is now $5 million dollars because teacher salary increases have been covered by the Hay Study bill now before the legislature, so DOE is seeking $3 million dollars less.

However, Bureau of Budget Director Bertha Duenas has declined to release DOE’s reserve funds saying by her reckoning, DOE should have enough money to make it through the end of the fiscal year.

Underwood told PNC News Wednesday afternoon that “We don’t want to shut down schools, but we have to follow the law. The Certification Officer will not certify funds if the funds are not there.”

The emergency School Board meeting will take place at 6 pm in the DOE Conference room in Hagatna.