US Department of Education officials are on island to oversee the progress GDOE has made with regards to getting off of high-risk grantee status.
Guam – Since 2009, special conditions have been placed on GDOE including the requirement for a third-party fiduciary agent to manage how GDOE spends federal funds. Mainly, GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez explains, their goal is to remove the third party and transfer the responsibility to the department so that the department will not only become more accountable and transparent, but it would also save GDOE millions of dollars. Fernandez says since then, in addition to the Comprehensive Corrective Action Plan, DOE also developed a transition plan, which lists a time frame for various activities.
He says, “We pay about $3 million for that third party to manage and approve our use of federal funds. We’re really trying to get off high-risk. We want to use all our resources for our students and classrooms instead of for a third party so all the work we’ve been doing over the past year to accelerate the process, they’ll have an opportunity to look at now that they’re here. We talk to them in a bi-weekly basis so they’re aware of our efforts so its their opportunity to visit. They’ll talk to schools and get a sense that the progress we’re talking about is taking place.”
US DOE officials will be on island until November 9. During their visit, the officials will be meeting with the Guam Education Board, GDOE management, the Office of Public Accountability, the Guam Legislature, and GDOE employees at both the central office divisions. GDOE will hold a media briefing tomorrow afternoon as well.