DOE's budget approved at $328M - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

DOE's budget approved at $328M

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 by Isa Baza

Guam - Tuesday night the Guam Education Board met and approved a $328 million budget for the Department of Education for next fiscal year. It's a significant jump from  its current budget, with recently-elected board chairman Peter Alexcis Ada saying, "A difference of $93 million, and that's because all others such as the renovations of some of the schools."

Ada said that although the budget has increased and does include funding to address the Every Child Deserves An Adequate Public Education Act, the allotted funds are still not enough. He noted, "I'm hoping that we will be able to appear before the Legislature and let them know we do support the adequate education, it's a mandate, but if they want us to implement it, we need their help."

Ada says some of his priorities for next fiscal year's budget include providing enough textbooks and teachers, something doe has struggled to provide in the past. "It bothered me to hear that there are schools out there that do not have textbooks, I was very, very dismayed to hear this," he shared.

In fact, some of the largest allocations of the budget include $135 million for certified teachers in the classroom, $71 million dollars for health and safety, $54 million for 180 instructional days, $17 million for required textbooks, and $15 million for electricity.

Aside from the budget, the GEB also held an election last night. No consensus on electing a vice-chair was reached. Ada is hoping Governor Eddie Calvo will appoint a ninth member to the board to help resolve the issue before a new election is held. 
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