GDOE approved to use $41.5 million to help schools respond to COVID-19

Guam Department of Education (PNC file photo)

The Guam Department of Education (GDOE) has been approved to use $41.5M from the US Department of Education (US-Ed) Education Stabilization Fund (ESF) to the Outlying Areas.

This award is part of $153.75 million allocated under section 18001(a)(1) of the CARES Act. Guam will receive $54,021,960 in total, with $41.5M approved and awarded to the GDOE as the ESF State Education Agency (SEA). 

US-Ed Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced the ESF funding opportunity in May. GDOE consulted with the education community stakeholders to include students, parents, school administrators and teachers from the public, private non-public and charter schools, and Guam Education Board members before submitting the required GDOE ESF-SEA certification and agreement to US-Ed in May. US-Ed granted the GDOE-SEA final approval late last week.

The approved ESF-SEA grant awarded to the GDOE-SEA will support eligible participating public, private non-public and charter schools. Resources are allocated between schools based on a school’s previous year’s student enrollment. GDOE aims to complete approval of all project applications this week, with expenditures to begin as early as next week.

The CARES Act emergency relief funds will help address the impacts of COVID-19 on the island’s education system. The grant will support priorities such as modified learning models to include distance learning, health and safety supplies, materials and equipment; professional development, technology resources and services; and social, emotional and behavioral wellness support.

“The impacts of COVID-19 have been far-reaching across the nation and the region,” said GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez.

“Our educational system is similarly challenged by the abrupt changes to our operations. As we take on this shift, these additional resources will help us to transition to a new model of learning. We thank our students, parents and teachers for their input and look forward to investing in the education, health, and safety of our students and staff.”

(GDOE News Release)