Senator Dennis Rodriguez, Jr., Education Committee Chairman Senator Joe S. San Agustin, Senators Morrison, Nelson, and Esteves introduced Bill 70-34 today relative to converting Simon A. Sanchez High School to a charter school as well as setting a clear path to finally construct a new Yigo campus.
The bill is aimed to shift the burden of borrowing of over $100 million dollars through a previous bond-borrowing law to a prospective charter school, whereby, they would finance the construction of the new school and with the yearly allotments the charter school would receive which is pegged at $6500 per student. Senator Rodriguez stated “This bill is intended to create a means to allow for the immediate rebuilding of the much-needed Simon A. Sanchez High, but not on the backs of our taxpayers, but to be paid for with annual allotments given to the charter school to educate their students.”
Bill 70-34 authorizes the ability to enter into a Long-term lease for the purpose of facilitating the financing, design, construction, rehabilitation and maintenance of Simon A. Sanchez high school. In addition, there would be no construction cost appropriation for the new Simon A. Sanchez High School as the costs for the construction will be amortized over many years and paid for within the budget allotments provided to the school. Co-sponsor of the bill, Senator Joe San Agustin stated “This is a win-win for our community. The residents of Yigo and students of Simon Sanchez will be able to finally get the new school they need and deserve. This bill if passed, will also provide our government the ways and means to address the needs of all other public schools on Guam.”
The rebuilding of Simon A. Sanchez has faced many challenges over the past several years. Although authorized through public law, continued protests regarding the procurement and selection of the contractor tasked to build the new school continues to plague the efforts to make this new campus a reality. “The Government of Guam continues to fail the People of Guam, the residents of Yigo, especially the students of Simon Sanchez High School, by not providing a safe learning environment for the high school students of Yigo, that many other Guam students enjoy. This bill will create a mechanism for this much-needed Simon A. Sanchez High School re-build by eliminating the bureaucratic “red-tape” of government that has continued to fail our People.” Rodriguez stated.
For more information, please contact the office of Senator Dennis G. Rodriguez, Jr. at 649-8638. Si Yu’os Ma’åse’!