Pandemic relief bill for educators introduced

Senator Kelly Marsh (Taitano)

To support local teachers during this pandemic emergency, Senator Kelly Marsh (Taitano) introduced legislation today to increase the current tax rebate for Guam educators from $500 to $750.

The Senator stated, “The impact of COVID-19 on the world cannot be understated. Every one of us has been affected in different ways. 2020 has been a year of tragedy, with many things canceled or put on pause. It has also been a time where we have seen community resiliency and also our ability to adapt. Nowhere has this been more apparent than in the work of the Guam Department of Education, where thousands of teachers and tens of thousands of students and their families have had to adapt to remote instruction and learning.“

Senator Marsh Taitano also noted that historically, teachers are often put in the position of having to purchase extra supplies to fill their classrooms and support the learning of their students. With the pandemic and the need to socially distance, some educators have had to take on new expenses, especially related to technological upgrades.

As Senator Marsh (Taitano) explains, “We often hear stories of teachers using their own funds to buy pencils, paper, glue, crayons and other items for their students. I am introducing this bill to increase the current tax rebate after hearing so many stories from teachers about their struggles in trying to move from their classrooms to zoom rooms and needing to buy new software programs to edit videos or make pdfs. Many teachers have had to upgrade their internet service. The extra $250 provided by this bill is intended to help alleviate this burden.”

The Senator also stated that, “Educators are providing a critical public service right now, working to ensure that even while many things shut down or are put on hold, this does not happen in terms of the education of our children. We have seen so many in our community step up to lend a helping hand, to work together to keep each other strong in these trying times. That is the power of inafa’maolek. We find the big and small ways that we can support each other and prop each other up, and we can all move ahead stronger together.”

(Senator Kelly Marsh (Taitano) News Release)