DOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez is headed to DC to discuss DOE’s progress with getting off high-risk grantee status and then he’s headed to San Francisco to ask for an increase in reimbursement for food services.
One of Fernandez’s goals since he took the role as Superintendent was to take GDOE off of high risk and eventually get rid of the third party fiduciary agent. He says over the past year, there have been a lot of improvements made to the department’s financial management system, such as receiving two clean audits. In fact, he’s confident enough to present their progress so far to the U.S. Department of Education Risk Management Services in DC. Fernandez says they have a transition plan to present.
He says, “It’s not going to happen all at once this removal of high risk. What we’re trying to do is gradually reduce the scope of high risk status, reduce the scope of the fiduciary’s responsibility, and we have a plan that I think will get us there. I’m very proud of where we are. They’ll give us some input. They’ll come in July and will do an assessment of whether that progress is being validated and we’ll go from there.”
After meeting with officials in DC, Fernandez says he will also visit the U.S. Department of Administration to follow up on his request for higher reimbursement rates for food services. He says GDOE sent a request back in April and was asked to provide more data. Since then, Fernandez says he worked with the University of Guam to come up with a cost study that he will be bringing with him for US DOA to review.
Fernandez says, “We currently see a rate closer to the 48 contiguous states receive but we know that transportation costs are more expensive, food costs vary, and we’d like to be considered by a higher reimbursement rate such as that which is enjoyed by Hawaii and Alaska because of their distance from their supply and distribution channels.”
He says a higher reimbursement rate would mean DOE would be better able to support food services for students. Meanwhile, Fernandez says DOE is still negotiating with the chosen vendor that will be in charge of food services starting this coming school year.