Should GEPB elections cease to exist? - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Should GEPB elections cease to exist?

Posted: Updated:

by Michele Catahay

Guam - A public hearing is scheduled to be held this evening on a bill that would do away with elections for members of the Guam Education Policy Board. Instead, it calls on the governor of Guam to appoint them, with confirmation by the Legislature. 

Guam Education Policy Board members are currently elected by constituents based in four districts: Kattan, Luchan, Lagu and Haya.  While it's been this way for the past eight years, Vice-Speaker B.J. Cruz wants that to change. Cruz introduced Bill 424, which would require members to be appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Guam Legislature.

Former board chairperson Joe San Agustin says the Guam Legislature had a problem with that system when members were appointed back then. He says the biggest issue was political interference, saying, "One time, Judi Guthertz wanted to pass a bill to give the Guam Education Policy Board governing authority. That failed. Now, okay, you don't want to give the elected board members, elected by the people of Guam in their respective districts, governing authority, but you're willing to give the appointing authority? Why even have a board? It's either you have one, or you don't," he proposed.

San Agustin says if the board is appointed, the governor should just appoint the superintendent.

In the meantime, Department of Education Superintendent Dr. Nerissa Bretania Underwood says while she's in favor of a system that works, she says she still has hope for the current one, telling KUAM News, "I do believe in democracy. The elected board is a structure that is actually reflects our democratic government where you have representatives from your constituents. I have an appreciation for that. It's not a perfect system, but I do believe that we do know the areas that need to be strengthen and we need to work on that. I don't want the board to go back to being completely under the governor's control at this point."

Bretania Underwood says it is expected that the board and DOE will have their differences, but she remains confident that issues can be ironed out.  "I think that it's very important to draw the distinction," she explained. "In order for them to make sound policies, they need to be provided with accurate information about the operations and the implementation of that policy and the impact on the district."

The education committee will hear public comments at 6:30 this evening at the Legislature's Public Hearing Room.

  • NEWS HEADLINESMore>>

  • Teen charged with robbing Kmart will be tried as adult

    Teen charged with robbing Kmart will be tried as adult

    The 17 year old charged in robbery at the Kmart parking lot is being tried as an adult. John Wine Lodge and Waiseless Albert are charged with theft, conspiracy to commit robbery, robbery along with special allegation of vulnerable victim. As we reported, Police responded to the incident at the Kmart parking lot Wednesday night. A witness helped authorities to track down the duo hiding out at an auto shop in Harmon Industrial Park. Police say the victim's purse was also found by the...More >>
    The 17 year old charged in robbery at the Kmart parking lot is being tried as an adult. John Wine Lodge and Waiseless Albert are charged with theft, conspiracy to commit robbery, robbery along with special allegation of vulnerable victim. As we reported, Police responded to the incident at the Kmart parking lot Wednesday night. A witness helped authorities to track down the duo hiding out at an auto shop in Harmon Industrial Park. Police say the victim's purse was also found by the...More >>
  • Get informed during Guam Invasive Species Awareness Week

    Get informed during Guam Invasive Species Awareness Week

    All week long it's Guam Invasive Species Awareness Week. Events will inform the public on how to protect Guam against invasive species, like brown tree snakes and rhino beetles. Topics include "What's killing my Plants?", a USDA Plant Inspection Facility Tour, screening of the documentary "An Acquired Taste" about hunting at the Guam Museum, and a Brown tree snake control workshop. "What's Killing my Plants" UOG CNAS Extension and Outreach Program ...More >>
    All week long it's Guam Invasive Species Awareness Week. Events will inform the public on how to protect Guam against invasive species, like brown tree snakes and rhino beetles. Topics include "What's killing my Plants?", a USDA Plant Inspection Facility Tour, screening of the documentary "An Acquired Taste" about hunting at the Guam Museum, and a Brown tree snake control workshop. "What's Killing my Plants" UOG CNAS Extension and Outreach Program ...More >>
  • Guns, drugs found in Mangilao raid

    Guns, drugs found in Mangilao raid

    Nearly a dozen guns, glass pipes and marijuana. GPD investigators finding those items during a raid in Mangilao on Thursday. 65 year old Jesus San Agustin and 27 year old Jessiree Dolores Meno are charged with theft by receiving stolen property. San Agustin is also charged with illegally possessing drugs and firearms. Police say the search warrant was executed as authorities were looking into a burglary investigation. That's when they made the find confiscating a 12 gauge shotgun, tw...More >>
    Nearly a dozen guns, glass pipes and marijuana. GPD investigators finding those items during a raid in Mangilao on Thursday. 65 year old Jesus San Agustin and 27 year old Jessiree Dolores Meno are charged with theft by receiving stolen property. San Agustin is also charged with illegally possessing drugs and firearms. Police say the search warrant was executed as authorities were looking into a burglary investigation. That's when they made the find confiscating a 12 gauge shotgun, tw...More >>
Powered by Frankly