Education board concerned over new method of budgeting for GDOE

Guam Board of Education Chairman Mark Mendiola said school principals can always come to the GDOE superintendent and the education board which has always had an open-door policy.

The Guam Education Board is expressing hesitance over the new budget proposed for the Guam Department of Education, describing it as a nonstandard way of budgeting for the agency.

According to the 2020 Appropriations Act, each campus under GDOE will be given spending caps based on their student population and the way the funding would be spent would be dependent on the principal of each school.

Mark Mendiola, the chairman of the Guam Education Board, says that GDOE has shown fiscal responsibility through its clean audits and added that principals have to focus on the wellbeing of their students and curriculum — rather than worry about contracts — which fall under the duty of the department’s central office.

“The Department of Education is the only agency where the budget is specific. It’s getting to be that the schools are now capped. It’s saying to Agueda, Ordot Chalan Pago…to these schools, you only have a dollar to spend. You cannot spend above and beyond that. And it really severely hampers the board’s authority and the superintendent’s to manage the funds like we have been doing for the past couple of years,” Mendiola said.

While GDOE still has a lot of questions regarding the proposed bill, the legislation’s public hearing will take place at 9 a.m. on Aug. 6 at the Guam Congress Building’s public hearing room.