The Guam Education Board (GEB) unanimously supported a resolution to sever its financial ties with charter schools. GEB member Robert Crisostomo noted that charter schools receive their funding from Guam Department of Education’s (GDOE) annual budget without any financial oversight. Despite the financial constraints placed on GDOE, GDOE has to fund an additional $4 million to Guahan Academy Charter School.
GFT President Sanjay Sharma commented that charter schools in general have mixed performances over its 30-year history in the United States. Some charter schools are among the best while other charter schools perform below their public school counterparts.
The Guahan Academy Charter School did have some delay in making payment to their employees and failed to start on time this school year. Even further, the school held a $10,000 retreat using government funds at Dusit Thani. A simple solution to resolve their problems is hold them accountable for the finances they receive.
1. Require a public competitive bid process similar to the Government of Guam;
2. Forbid related-party transactions;
3. Adopt a policy on all salaries;
4. Be subject to annual audits;
5. Require detailed budgets to be placed online.
The Office of Public Accountability and the Guam Legislature need to play a larger role to ensure charter schools do not fumble and mishandle public funds. An even simpler solution? Roll back charter schools on Guam and fund GDOE properly.