Parent-teacher organizations air concerns about school needs
From site visits to hearing from education leaders, senators continue to press for answers in hopes to get to the bottom of the issues in our public school system. The parent-teacher organizations now called to the Guam Congress Building to detail their needs in the schools. We’ve heard it time and time again: Guam’s public schools in less than stellar condition.
Rebecca Bidaure, a teacher and the PTO president for Juan M. Guerrero Elementary School in Dededo, said, “I guess, being in the government for almost 20 years, it’s a typical response when we have the manpower or the money.”
A response from the Guam Department of Education to these issues, Bidaure says she’s grown used to. “So we’ll be like, okay, they’ll get to it, and we hope spoon, but it’s just gotten to the point where when is enough, enough?" she said.
In search of a solution, the Committee on Eeducation and Public Safety held a roundtable hearing for PTO concerns at the Guam Legislature today.
Senators hoping to find the fix, starting by hearing the their stories.
Education oversight chair Senator Chris Barnett says it's this group who can help to fill in the gaps where gdoe officials fall short. An issue brought to light by Bidaure is the piles of hazardous debris left in the middle of Guerrero Elementary’s campus after officials bulldozed temporary classrooms
She explained, “We got about maybe six piles of it in the different areas - and of course, our school, we put caution tape, so the kids know not to go around that area or those areas.”
Bidaure adding that the harmful material was inspected by the Guam Environmental Protection Agency some time ago, prompting school officials to file formal work orders to Guam DOE multiple times. Still, those requests have led to zero progress - the piles of debris left untouched several years later.
“The response from downtown was…we’re just waiting on a permit to remove the debris—I’m not too sure if that’s the procedures," said Biduare. It's a waiting game she hopes that after today she’ll have to wait no more.
Senators gathered more testimony from parents and teachers during the roundtable.