by Krystal Paco
Guam - It looks like the Department of Education will have to make major cuts to balance their budget. At a Guam Education Board meeting held Wednesday, superintendent Jon Fernandez says members expressed concerns for major cuts to come as a result of a $9 million shortfall.
"We discussed the need to address a $9 million gap that existed in our 2013 Fiscal Year budget. We continue to work with the governor and the legislature to continue how to address the gap. The board directed me to start to implement measures to start to bring our budget in line. Among those solutions include reducing air-conditioning use significantly, number two is an immediate hiring freeze on positions that are non-teaching and non-school support related," he said.
At the end of December there were 82 vacancies within DOE, 46 of which were school aides with the remainder clerical support.
Overall, Fernandez says the solution is to release the reserve funding in order to meet all obligations and expenditures.
He adds, DOE has been working with the Governor's Office, BBMR, and DOA to do so.