Less than one month into the new school year and already local high schools are filled to capacity-in fact overcrowded with students. When Okkodo High School opened last year, island residents hoped the Department of Education might at last get a reprieve from the ongoing problem of school overcrowding. But into its second school year, Okkodo's population has already exceeded its 1200 student capacity by 272.
And if that sounds bad, George Washington High School has exceeded its capacity by 677 students.
This afternoon, Guam's public high school principals met with superintendent dr nerissa brettania underwood to discuss strategies to combat overcrowding at nearly all of guam's high schools. "We do know that a lot of our community members have resisted redistricting or changes in the attendance areas but we're also very concerned about our capacity to provide sound educational services to students".
Principals have been working with the deputy of educational support and community learning to find ways to maximize space. But Underwood worries that the overcrowding issue will only worsen as guam anticipates a surge in population because of the impending military buildup. "There is no doubt that the guam department of education need another high school in the north another middle school and at least two other elementary schools".
Underwood says that, because DOE does not have its own revenue source, it all comes down to the legislature and how much money they can appropriate for the building of new schools... But, considering the 4.7 million dollars the department still needs just to run its existing schools, it looks like local students will continute to suffer under overcrowded conditions.
By Janjeera Hail