Education board vows to sever financial ties with charter schools

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With the impending risk of financial mismanagement, GDOE is now vouching for a separation from all charter school’s finances.

Guam – Education board members reacted to the news yesterday that the Department of Education could potentially be liable for any impending debt that GACS might’ve incurred.

During their monthly board meeting, board members fervently spoke out against the charter school for their risk of mismanaged funds.

“I’m sorry charter school, you’re coming from our budget, but yet you were given the opportunity to take it unaccounted for? $5M for that charter school that goes unaccounted for! There are missing links in that budget,” vented GEB member Lujan.

GDOE is currently tied to all charter schools via their finances, but is unable to have any oversight of the charter school’s expenditures. The department is required to verify invoices from the charter school, which is what prompted the controversial internal audit.

The audit revealed over $400 thousand dollars’ worth of invalidated expenses on top of other discrepancies. This prompted an impassioned response from the board members.

“If we’re subjected to scrutiny and mandates from our government from public funds then so shall the charter schools. Same equal way because its public funds,” he said.

GEB Finance Chairman Mark Mendiola added, “And I think if [GACS] decides they don’t want to do a joint-resolution, our board is ready to take action on a resolution that’s fine and we can take a position ourselves. But I just thought it’d be stronger if the charter school council [agreed].  One board member said he’s been on the board for two years and he’s been asking the same question that we can’t hold people accountable.”

The charter school council held a work session with the Chief Internal Auditor Franklin Cooper-Nurse alongside representatives from GDOE and the Guam Education Board members. However, the Board of Trustees was not present.

With the risk of financial mismanagement, GDOE is now vouching for a separation from all charter school’s finances.

Meanwhile, GACS Consultant, Marilyn Manibusan spoke to the mayor’s council today regarding the controversial findings in the internal audit report.

According to Dededo Mayor Melissa Savares, Manibusan is arguing that GACS’s finances are currently under review only because a property is up for renewal.