Bill abolishes Education Suruhanu's Office - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Bill abolishes Education Suruhanu's Office

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by Krystal Paco

Guam - It seems not everyone agrees that abolishing the education suruhanu position with the Department of Education is a good idea. The first-ever education suruhanu, a role first established by the 29th Guam Legislature, may come to an end.

With news that Dominic Terlaje won't reapply for the job, Senator Judi Guthertz has introduced legislation to dissolve the office, noting, "Mr. Terlaje, I think, tried very hard and I commend him for his work - but this is time for this government to reassess these offices that may not be critical to the well being of the community."

Senator Guthertz recognizes the redundancy in duties, such as safety inspection of schools. Instead she proposes the money saved from the Office of the Education Suruhanu be used to keep village libraries open for the remainder of the year. The education suruhanu takes home a salary of $80,000 annually.

She said, "The Office of the Education Suruhano really wasn't something that was critical to the needs of this government. It doesn't seem to be working the way we originally intended for it to work and it simply seems to replicate what other agencies do in enforcing their regulatory authorities of cleanliness of the schools, safety of the schools, environmental issues in the school. It's an opportunity to save GovGuam some money.

While Senator Judi Guthertz believes her bill will save the Government of Guam money, chief of the Guam Education Board Francis Santos believes that the education suruhanu is needed to keep DOE in check.  "There are obviously a lot of issues out there with our schools and if safety and health are a great concern to us then and if that's the role that the education suruhanu has to play, then I would recommend that you leave it 5:03 we've obviously been trying to deal with it from the schools and from the board but having someone there watching over us that helps," he explained.

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