"Charter schools are not the answer" -Simon Sanchez stakeholdersWritten by Rebecca Elmore
Guam - Tensions rose last night at Simon Sanchez high school during last night’s education board meeting. PATSO President, Deanna Fournier delivered a passionate testimony against proposed Bill 70 to convert the high school to a charter school.
“This bill seeks to eliminate the stakeholder’s ability to have a say. This bill wants to eliminate that and let the petition go directly to the DOE board and I feel that this is wrong,” Fournier said.
Citing Guam law, Fournier reminded DOE that 60% of all stakeholders including parent guardians of students, adult students, and full-time faculty will need to approve the measure before it goes to GDOE.
“The reason to convert seems to be based on DPW being unable to put together a good RFP and that is DPW’s fault that is no reason to take away the right and ability to have a say in any proposed conversion,” she quipped, adding, “again, this is the requirement of existing Guam law. This law was passed years ago, by the people and for the people. And not for the politicians who have seemed to think they know better for the people who make up Simon Sanchez High School,” she said.
To calm the contention, GEB Maria Gutierrez reminded the stakeholders that Bill 70, although controversial, was still a proposed bill and May 2nd would be dedicated to speaking on the potential charter school conversion.
And if 60% of stakeholders agree to convert the school to a charter, then it will take 5 voting GEB members for the process to continue.
Meanwhile, Bill 70’s author, Senator Dennis Rodriguez told PNC in a previous interview that the vetting process for the procurement is still the same. The only amendment would place the Guam Department of Education, not a charter council at the helm of the decision-making process.