FY2013 already looking bleak for DOE - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

FY2013 already looking bleak for DOE

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by Krystal Paco

Guam - With Fiscal Year 2012 coming to a close this weekend, the Department of Education is already seeing red for Fiscal Year 2013. It's an even tighter budget for DOE come October 1.

According to superintendent Jon Fernandez, DOE will be working with less and covering more costs. Despite DOE's request for $294 million for FY2013, the agency was only appropriated $214.2 million - close to $2 million less than what was appropriated for FY2012.

Fernandez is concerned as this fiscal year, DOE will be taking on new bills, including the $1.6 million john F. Kennedy High School maintenance contract, $3.5 million to pay for a third-party fiduciary agent to get DOE off USDOE's high-risk status, and $1.1 million for the Guahan Academy Charter School.

At today's Guam Education Board meeting, member Dr. Jose Cruz expressed fear that DOE will be forking the cash for yet another unfunded mandate.

As we've been reporting, the Guahan Academy Charter School budget was approved as part of DOE's budget for FY2013. "We're obligated to give them $5,500 per child. We have data that shows that some of our schools don't have a per pupil cost that high. It really comes out of our budget right now. It already has a shortfall," he said.

Cruz is most concerned about the movement of students from charter schools to public schools and vice versa. "What happens when the student moves out of the charter school and we've already paid them? Do we have a right to call for it? The board has really got to start putting up some stipulations," said Cruz.

The Guahan Academy Charter School anticipates 200 students and opening doors the second week of October but has yet to announce a location for their campus.

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