Bipartisan Measures Will Allow to Open and Repair Schools
Hagåtña, Guam – After a careful review of the education bills passed during the emergency session this week, Governor Lou Leon Guerrero has taken action on four measures that support the timely opening of the island’s public schools.
On Saturday, Governor Leon Guerrero signed Bill 159, Bill 158, and Bill 156 into law. Each of the bills represents an honest effort at solving the crisis that the flawed passage of Public Law No. 37-4 created and the severe damage Typhon Mawar caused. In her signing statements, she thanked the bipartisan efforts of Minority Leader Frank Blas, Jr. and Senator Dwayne San Nicolas for recognizing a failure in policy and choosing to resolve it rather than lay blame, demonstrating that government can come together to do good for Guam.
“None of these measures is a panacea for the challenges that face our public schools, but at least the Guam Department of Education (GDOE) can meet these challenges without the unreasonable burden of an arbitrary timeline—one that changed from one legislature to the next,” said Governor Leon Guerrero. “For the past several weeks, a community-wide effort engaging a myriad of organizations, government agencies, and the Guam National Guard has worked to help GDOE prepare our public schools for the opening of the school year. That effort has called on people from every walk of life. It is blind to partisanship or the last election, and most importantly, it has been focused unwaveringly on our school children.”
From the start, the Leon Guerrero-Tenorio Administration, GDOE, and the Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) have maintained that Public Law 37-4 prevented schools from opening on time as it added unrealistic requirements for schools to meet prior to opening. Before Public Law 37-4, schools were provided up to School Year 2024-2025 to come into compliance. Senator Blas’ bipartisan bill rightfully reverted the compliance deadline to SY 2024-2025, as it was originally. Senator San Nicolas’ bipartisan bill will allow schools to open immediately. The administration has also maintained that this emergency, created by Public Law 37-4, required a legislative fix, and now the legislature has, through a bipartisan effort, passed bills to fix the problem.
Senator Joe San Agustin’s Bill 91 was also signed into law, which seeks to attract facilities and maintenance personnel to fill the vacant positions needed to help the Guam Department of Education upkeep and repair over 40 public schools.