The Guam Education Board approved a $324 million budget proposal for the Guam Department of Education yesterday. The request for fiscal year 2018 is just $2 million shy of the of the proposal submitted in fiscal 2017, which was ultimately reduced to just around $240 million by the legislature.
While it is uncertain if the law-making body will grant the full request this year, Sen. Joe San Agustin, chairman of the legislative committee on education, has stated that GovGuam was fiscally constrained and that he would be scrutinizing the budget to see how spending would be prioritized. He added that there was a need to focus on capital improvement and less on filling office positions.
Individual school needs prioritized
Mark Mendiola, the committee chairman on finances for the board, said the 2018 budget focused on providing more support to individual schools and less on relegating resources to central office staffing. This includes a focus on hiring school aides.
A recent incident at F.B. Leon Guerrero Middle School made headlines when five students from the school entered the campus intoxicated while wielding pipes and rocks. They also attempted to injure some staff responding to their presence.