GDOE justifies $1.1M Pre-K expansion

829

“If you used the entire $1.1 million and divided that by 900, you’d get an investment of $1,222 per student. At half that amount, it is more like $611 per student,” Superintendent Jon Fernandez explained.

Guam – In lieu of the Guam Department of Education’s announcement to expand their Pre-K program, Superintendent Jon Fernandez provided additional facts to justify the $1.1M price tag.

Viewers may recall that GDOE is already serving about 72 students to date. Four schools across the island have piloted the Pre-K program to success. And now, about five schools have been targeted to officially launch the program. They are: Finegayan Elementary School, Lyndon B. Johnson Elementary School, Marcial Sablan Elementary School and J.Q. San Miguel Elementary School.

With the approved funding of $1.1M for the expansion, GDOE estimates that a total of 162 would be served. But with only an additional 90 students, is the $1.1M price tag too steep?

According to Superintendent Fernandez, the price reaches far beyond the price per pupil. He explains that the majority of the funding is slated for preparation of the facilities. Then, there’s the cost of new equipment, chairs, tables, instructional supplies, etc. The five schools identified don’t require that much in renovation so Fernandez estimates that GDOE might in fact, spend closer to half the allotted amount.

“The funding does not support only 90 students… Over ten years, we would be serving 900 students. If you used the entire $1.1 million and divided that by 900, you’d get an investment of $1,222 per student. At half that amount, it is more like $611 per student,” Fernandez explained.

And now that Legislative Appropriations Chairman Speaker BJ Cruz announced financial uncertainty in the upcoming fiscal year, every dollar GovGuam spends needs to count.