Guam – Education Committee Chair Speaker Judi Won Pat released the following statement on the ongoing negotiations between the Guam Education Board and Jon Fernandez who has been offered the position of Superintendent of Guam DOE.
READ Speaker Won Pat’s statement in FULL below:
“The board has the authority to negotiate a contract with Mr. Jon Fernandez and they’re doing that. The negotiations continue. Until the board and Mr. Fernandez come to an agreement, I will suggest that the revised contract includes clear performance outcomes that the superintendent must reach. Furthermore, the board must establish and communicate to all stakeholders what the goals, objectives and criterion are for determining success when evaluating the new superintendent. After all, it is what we require of our administrators and teachers. The superintendent should be held to the same, if not higher, level.”
Won Pat also said that Fernandez should seriously pursue a public law that created the Foundation For Public Education Act of 2009, which allows the superintendent to pursue and accept various benefits for GDOE.
“I would also encourage the board to assign Mr. Fernandez the task of spearheading the launch of the Foundation for Public Education Act of 2009. The law allows the superintendent to promote the improvement of the general welfare of public education which includes philanthropic and community service endeavors. This means the superintendent can accept private gifts, donations, endowments, services-in-kind, grants and other money which will go towards GDOE.”
Won Pat has stressed before that GDOE must prioritize its spending as the government of Guam deals with its financial debts. The budget hearings will be held in July and once again, the government of Guam doesn’t have the money the education department is requesting, however, the legislature will ensure that GDOE’s operations doesn’t suffer, especially in the classrooms.
“It is our priority and my person philosophy to put education first however this does not mean that we can ignore DOE’s budget and its yearly financial shortfalls, and the governor’s attempt to reduce the deficit which affects every government of Guam department and agency. Therefore, at the end of the day, the board and the new superintendent must come to a compromise that is reasonable. I hope one can be reached so that Mr. Fernandez can come on board and begin the enormous job of education reform, “said Won Pat.