Guam Department of Education Superintendent Jon Fernandez has sent a letter to the governor seeking funding from the anticipated surplus to address GDOE’s budget shortfall for fiscal year 2019 and to support the reconstruction of Simon Sanchez High School.
According to GDOE public information officer Isa Baza, GDOE’s budget has been cut by $15 million over the past two years.
Worse, GDOE stands to be short another $2.1 million in cash based on lower-than-expected collections from the Territorial Education Facilities Fund (TEFF) in FY 2019 and the budget shortfall has constrained the department’s ability to adequately meet the needs of students and staff.
According to Baza, the architectural and engineering work and owner agent-engineer services needed to move forward with the Simon Sanchez High School rebuild requires $5 million. Without this funding, GDOE would be unable to move forward with the long-awaited project that affects the health and safety of over 1,800 Simon Sanchez High School students.
Following an announcement from Adelup projecting a $27 million surplus for fiscal year 2019, Fernandez is asking the governor for $7.1 million of surplus funding to help bring financial stability to GDOE and to move forward the much needed Simon Sanchez High School rebuild.
Fernandez said the governor’s support at this time would underscore that education is truly a top priority for the administration,.