VIDEO: Guahan Academy Charter School Asks for More Money; Lawmakers Say They’re Unlikely to Get It

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Guam – The Guahan Academy Charter School or GACS met with some Senators today to ask for more funding.

According to GACS Principal Donna Dwiggins the charter school is asking for $6,600 per pupil annually which is what she says GDOE spends per pupil.

Guahan Academy Charter School officials met with some lawmakers today in the hopes of getting more funding for their school. “We’re seeking some additional funding to put our teachers on the Hay study since our teachers are public school teachers also,” said Dwiggins. The GAC’s principal says they’re seeking a supplemental budget that would allow them to pay their teachers as per the Hay plan.

 Dwiggins says they’re also seeking funds to afford the same average per pupil cost that DOE has. “Well the amount that was provided to us by Deputy Superintendent Rob Malay over a year ago that cost was $6,608 was the average per pupil cost at the building operations level,” said Dwiggins. The GACS principal says they’ve asked for $6,500 for the last two years per pupil but have only received $5,500 per pupil. She says they’re really pushing to get funding that matches GDOE’s average per pupil cost of $6,600 so they can prepare to get out on their own and pay for their own facility. Their current facilities are being provided to them by GovGuam for their first three years of operation as part of what they are calling their incubator period, but after that they’ll have to fund their own facilities. “We’re looking at trying to be fiscally responsible but if we can get the average per pupil cost and we can get the numbers then we can try to procure our own building and try to balance our budget by also going after additional funding from other sources,” said Dwiggins.

 However it’s not very likely that the Charter school will have their request granted as lawmakers say there just isn’t enough money to go around.

Speaker Won Pat points out that they don’t even have the funds to give Guam DOE all of the money it’s asking for.

“I know like DOE wants $298 million we’re only able to give approximately $232 million at least that’s in the budget right now and their budget will actually have to come out of DOE so DOE is not even getting the request that they want much less of course here with the charter academy that as much as they want whatever it is that’s justified makes it very difficult right now with the current situation financially,” said Speaker Won Pat.

Lawmakers will likely discuss the charter school budget further during session this week.