About 30,000 public school students are back in classrooms. Thousands of Guam Department of Education teachers, school aides and administrators are working to ensure they are getting the education they need to be successful in the future.
On the first day of school, many students were excited to see their friends and get back into their sports teams and other extracurricular activities.
In the days and weeks leading up to the first day of school, various government agencies, private companies and individuals volunteered their time to help clean and paint schools. Their efforts helped ensure the schools provided a welcoming atmosphere.
The school system and our elected leaders need to do more and ensure that the students, teachers and schools have what they need to make this school year truly a year of teaching and learning, in an environment that is conducive to both.
About two weeks into the school year, there are classrooms without air conditioning, there remains a lack of textbooks for every student in every classroom, some students still have to wait for buses in the second round of trips from school to home, and teachers are still purchasing items they need for the classrooms or asking parents to bring them.
Many parents and teachers don’t mind pitching in for supplies, but no teacher, no matter how understanding or generous, can afford to continue dipping into their own pockets. There are certain things that the government needs to provide for. The 14 points in Guam's Adequate Education Act provide specific standards.
Senators have been discussing the budget and have a little time to discuss and pass it. As those discussions continue, we hope they keep some of these issues in mind. Every Student is Entitled to an Adequate Education shouldn’t just be a theory, it should be a part of how the government and we, as a community, provide for public education for the future of Guam.