The Pacific News Center ran a story on October 4, 2021 where they quote Guam Education Board (GEB) member Robert Crisostomo saying:
We need to close the gap on the education that’s missing. It’s going to take a while to catch up. But we got to catch up somewhere and summer school doesn’t do it. I know I’m probably going to get pushback from the teachers because they want their vacation, But we are here for the students. Their success is our success. So I’m proposing the adoption of year-long education.
Because of this, GFT has received numerous negative feedback on year-long education. Of course, we live in a democratic society where even the unpopular voices need to be heard, but this idea seems more out of touch than others do. GFT President Tim Fedenko met with some GEB members, members of Guam Department of Education (GDOE) administration, and the Island-wide Board of Governing Students (IBOGS) to further discuss this idea of year-long education.
- The proposal of year-long education would be different than year-round education. The year-long education means that schools will continue into summer to make up for lost contact time due to safety protocols during the pandemic. Year-round education is distributing summer vacation time into shorter weeks and spreading out those weeks throughout the school year where teams of students and teachers have staggered attendance days to minimize overcrowding. Year-round education increases the cost of keeping the schools opening throughout the school year, and it shows no clear advantages over a traditional schedule. In fact, sports, summer programs, and exposure to part-time work for high school students get cut. If the vacation times for students became staggered for younger children from older children, then parents would have to make the tough decisions in providing additional care for their children.
- Teachers on vacation over summer? Not always. Teachers have to take classes for recertification. Some teachers do not want to take classes after work due to personal and family commitments, so this means that summer time also means education time for teachers. In addition, GDOE uses summer time for district training that would cut into instructional time.
- GFT is open to the idea of year-long education, but GDOE does not have the budget to pay teachers. Teachers have been working throughout the school year, and adding additional days of work means additional compensation that GDOE must negotiate with GFT.