- 1 of 3
THE fate of the 4AB schedule now rests with the Attorney General’s Office after a decision to seek legal clarification on the rules that apply to the voting process was put forward during yesterday’s Guam Education Board meeting.
Lagu District Representative Joe San Agustin initiated the motion to reconsider the adoption of the 4AB schedule for this school year.
“I’d like the board to reconsider the decision made only on the basis that there was not enough stakeholder input to support 4AB,” San Agustin explained.
The motion was supported by board members Ronald Ayuyu, Dr. Jose Cruz, Dr. Anita Borja-Enriquez and Rosie Tainatongo, while GEB chairman Francis Santos and parent representative Barry Mead put in a vote against the motion. Two board members, May Camacho and Dr. Paul Pineda, were absent from the meeting.
After the roll call of votes was done, Mead used a point of order to state that, based on Robert’s Rules of Order, a vote to reconsider should receive a two-thirds majority vote.
According to Mead, any parliamentary procedure on any motion to rescind a previous motion adopted by the body requires a two-thirds majority vote.
The motion to repeal the prior decision should be published before the board meeting, Mead added.
But Guam Department of Education legal counsel Rebecca Perez stated that according to Guam law, only a majority vote is required to pass the motion.
The final decision made was to wait for a decision by the Attorney General’s Office if Robert’s Rules supersede Guam law.
“The status quo continues; we are still in 4AB until the Attorney General makes a decision,” stated John F. Kennedy teacher Phil Protasio after the decision was announced.
“It boils down to the AG’s interpretation of whether Robert’s Rules trump Guam’s statutes. The board voted 5 to 2 to reconsider. Two of the members of the board are absent, so common sense tells you that is the majority,” Protasio said.
Guam Teachers’ United, a group advocating for the rescinding of the 4AB schedule, is going to get the information out on the issue, according to Protasio.
He stated: “We’ll see what everybody has to say because remember, this is not one or two people that’s driving the issue. This is all of the high school teachers who care about what’s going on.”
While waiting for legal clarification from the AGO, the decision made by the board to implement the schedule stays.
Once implemented this school year, the 4AB schedule will effectively reduce instruction time to core classes such as math, science and English and add two alternative classes to the current curriculum implemented in the high schools. In addition, it will add hours to teachers’ work schedules.