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Referring to this week's DOE Budget hearing, the Speaker calls attention to the disparity between the Department's request for $294 million and the Governor's budget request of just $215 million for DOE.
But she says "while we work through the numbers, the simple fact remains this: the fiscal fragility of our government requires that we be innovative," and she confident that "DOE’s management team, under the leadership of Superintendent Jon Fernandez, has set upon a path of innovation."
She also said she was pleased to hear "Superintendent Fernandez talk about how he is committed to taking DOE off of high risk status ... because it ultimately means that, if DOE is successful, that the $4 million we pay each year to an outside entity may now go back into the classroom where it is needed most."
HEAR the Speaker's Weekly Address HERE>>>07-26 speakers address 7-26-12.mp3
READ the Speaker's Weekly Address below:
Speaker’s Weekly Address
FOR RELEASE ON
Thursday, July 26, 2012
“Speaker Judith T. Won Pat, Ed.D. praises GDOE for embarking upon a path of innovation, accountability, and productivity.”
My Dear People of Guam,
Buenas yan Hafa Adai! On Monday, Department of Education officials met with the Guam Legislature’s Committee on Appropriations, Taxation, Public Debt, Banking, Insurance, Retirement & Land, Chaired by Senator and former Speaker Ben Pangelinan, to present their Fiscal Year 2012-2013 budget request. I want to thank DOE Superintendent JonFernandez and members of the DOE management team for making themselves available to answer questions or provide clarity on areas that are uncertain.
In order to keep classes open, ensure that schools are conducive for learning, and that our kids are both healthy and safe, DOE is requesting for approximately $294 million. According to DOE officials, this funding level would sufficiently budget for personnel, utilities, textbooks, supplies, professional development, and the 14points, the Every Child is Entitled to an Adequate Public Education Act.
On the other hand, Governor Calvo submitted a budget request of $215 million. The difference between the governor’s request and DOE’s request is approximately $60 million. Using approximations from the previous fiscal year to determine just how much thegovernor’s $215 million budget request for DOE would cover, his proposed budget would only be enough for personnel at $197 million and utilities at $19 million. The remaining $1 million is not sufficient for textbooks, supplies, professional development, maintenance, and technology; at least not according to DOE personnel.
My dear people, whether it’s the Board of Education’s $294 million or the governor’s $215 million budget request, the reality is that the state of Guam’s economy is still very very fragile. While we work through the numbers, the simple fact remains this: the fiscal fragility of our government requires that we be innovative in our work to accomplish the mission and vision of our departments. It also requires that we maintain greater levels of accountability when using scarce government resources. It also requires that we establish optimum levels of productivity.
I want to share that I was encouraged when listening to some of the ideas that DOE’s team presented at the Monday morning budget hearing. Mr. Joe Sanchez, the former acting Deputy Superintendent of Curriculum and Instructional Improvement, shared an idea as to how we may improve communications, feedback, and the practice of education by implementing ‘Learning Communities’… and without any additional cost to the department. Yes indeed! I applaud Mr. Sanchez for his innovative no-additional-cost idea.
I was also pleased to hear Superintendent Fernandez talk about how he is committed to taking DOE off of high risk status. This is great news because it ultimately means that, if DOE is successful, that the $4 million we pay each year to an outside entity may now go back into the classroom where it is needed most. I and many of my colleagues strongly believe that both Superintendent Fernandez and the DOE federal program’s hardworking and committed staff have the capacity to see this through.
Also, Acting Deputy Superintendent of Educational Support and Community Learning Mr. Robert Malay and Superintendent Fernandez have talked about teacher preparation and supporting our school principals in order that we may follow-up with assessing teacher effectiveness by Year 3. I appreciate hearing this from DOE’s leadership. Their approach is logical and actionable.
The DOE budget hearing was a good day for students, parents, teachers, and administrators. It was a good day for Guam because we learned that DOE’s management team, under the leadership of Superintendent Jon Fernandez, has set upon a path of innovation that articulates a system of accountability and ensures maximum productivity- a path that blazes the way for other public funded organizations to follow.
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