The Guam Department of Education is asking the legislature to approve its proposed 2021 fiscal year budget of $365 million.
That is $21 million more than this year’s budget. The budget proposal was submitted to lawmakers this afternoon.
GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez and Guam Education Board Chairwoman Maria Gutierrez appealed for passage, saying the request is what’s needed to fund an adequate education for the roughly 29,000 students at Guam’s 41 public schools.
“Our board fully stands behind this budget request because we know that it represents what our stakeholders have determined to be the funding level needed to provide our children with the best education possible,” Gutierrez said.
In his testimony, Superintendent Fernandez said GDOE has faced significant budget challenges in the past two years resulting from the 2018 Trump tax cuts.
The school system has implemented extensive cost-cutting measures he said. But despite those cuts GDOE was still able to achieve a historic graduation rate of 87.3 percent in 2019.