Funding for online learning not affected by budget cut

GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez (PNC file photo)

Despite the drastic budget cuts proposed for Guam Department of Education in the budget bill, GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez is assuring the public that funding for online learning will not be affected.

Since there are plans to distribute computers and tablets and set up wifi hotspots for internet connectivity islandwide, there are also growing concerns whether these would still be possible with the reductions in GDOE’s budget.

GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez reassures that even with the budget cuts, they still have funds to proceed with the online learning program.

“Well, we’re very lucky to have access to federal funding for this purpose, especially this year. That additional $41.5 million which, again, goes to GDOE as well as to the public, private, and charter schools … that’s going to help us through the school year. But of course, the budget cuts don’t help us and I think that over the last three years, we had to cut a total of $30 million from our budget. This has made it very difficult for us to operate, grow and expand services that we can provide for our students,” Fernandez said.

He added: “The extra money for us is definitely going to help us deal with online learning and the protective equipment that we need in our schools. But the cut on the local side makes it more difficult to sustain our core operations. So we’re hoping that this year, you know, for all of the negative aspects of the year, there might still be some savings in some areas.”