GACS submits “bare bone budget”; asks for $1.3M increase

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Guam’s first charter school has spent a $416,000 this past fall on Pre-K students, even though local law only approves funding for K-12 students.

Guam – Guahan Academy Charter School defended their budget proposal today to the Charter School Council during a work session on the charter’s budget.

“As you can see, we have done our darn best. This is a bare bone budget,” expressed GACS Chairwoman Fe Ovalles.

Viewers may recall that GACS is still seeking additional funding to pay for the over enrollment of students this past fall. Local funding caps charter school student enrollment for $6,500 at 740 students per school. However, GACS currently enrolled around 937 students.

“Why should we not allow the students to have the same right like anybody else?” quipped Ovalles.  “That’s [only] $6,500. That’s clear disparity, clear disparity! Any parent can take us to court right now and say why $6,500 versus the $13K for GDOE?”

But with budget cuts potentially looming for all of GovGuam, the charter school was told today that they may not even receive the full $6,500 if the Department of Education’s budget is slashed as wel.

And to make matters worse, GACS has apparently enrolled about 64 Pre-K students as well. The problem is that local law allots funds for only K-12 students. That means GACS spent an additional $416,000 this past fall that could have been spent elsewhere.

When asked what the fate of the Pre-K students would be at this time, Council Chairwoman Amanda Blas shared: “I do not have an answer at this time, like I said it’s still in discussion.”

She continued explaining, “I know that there are currently Pre-K students enrolled. As for the next fiscal year, I don’t have an answer at this time.”

Overall, GACS is currently asking for nearly a $1.3M increase from what the legislature allocated for this fiscal year.

In the meantime, the Council will reconvene Friday for a special meeting.