Guam – Department of Education Superintendent Jon Fernandez says he supports the Governor’s plan to introduce a Pre-Kindergarten program in the public schools.
Governor Eddie Calvo allocated $5 Million for a Pre- program in his Fiscal Year 2015 budget proposal.
DOE won’t know if the funds will be available until the budget is voted on by the legislature and then signed by the Governor; hearings on the budget won’t begin until August.
Fernandez says in the meantime DOE will determine what it would take to implement a pre k program and consider piloting the program at select schools first.
“Right now what we’re gonna go ahead and do is is survey our schools to see if we have the resources available to do it right now,” Fernandez told PNC. “Determine what schools from a facilities standpoint would even have the room available to host a Pre K program for 4-year-olds. Typically we would look at the ratio of 18 students for every class we’ll look to see if that’s the right ratio for the teachers and determine how many teachers we need whether they’re available and the proper certification and then cross that out see what the funding would buy us.”
With President Barack Obama also making early learning one of his priorities, Fernandez hopes federal grants will become available to help support the implementation of the program on Guam.