Guam Education Department Requests $5.4 Million For Fiscal Year

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Supplemental Budget request primarily to cover excess utility costs

By Amanda Francel Blas

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, June 1, 2014) – The Guam Department of Education is requesting $5.4 million to help cover its expenses until next fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1.

At a special meeting held on May 23, the Guam Board of Education approved DOE's supplemental budget request.

"This budget would cover our needs before Oct. 1 when the fiscal year starts," DOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez said. "The school year starts in August, and we start getting ready in June. It'll help take care of our additional costs we'll incur."

The largest part of the education department's supplemental budget request is utilities, with DOE requesting $3.2 million. Of that, $2.6 million will go toward a shortfall in utility costs for the current fiscal year.

"We were always aware that we might have a shortfall for power because we were allocated less than we requested," Fernandez said.

The rest of the budget would address costs the department would acquire during the summer. This includes costs associated with the reopening of Untalan Middle School's Barrigada campus and the Okkodo High School expansion.

Untalan Middle School's campus is expected to be completed by July 15 while the Okkodo High expansion is expected to be ready by the first week of July.

"There will be costs associated with having these buildings online," Fernandez said.

The costs of opening Tiyan High School and moving DOE's central offices to Tiyan also are considered in the supplemental budget.

"We have to consider the staff we need beyond those we have and the contractual services we'll need for our new facilities," Fernandez said. "The budget makes sure we'll be able to pay for what we need when it comes to this."

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