WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Interior has released $5,737,500 in fiscal year 2021 Compact Impact funds for the Guam Department of Education School Leaseback Program.
“Through the Compact Impact funding program, the Guam Department of Education’s School Leaseback Program continues to receive important and ongoing support,” said Doug Domenech, U.S. Department of the Interior assistant secretary, Insular and International Affairs. “This support is critical to the Government of Guam, especially as it continues to feel the impacts on its education system from migration allowed for under the Compacts of Free Association.”
In 2006, Iron Bridge Capital partnered with the Government of Guam to design, build, finance, and leaseback four new public schools—the Okkodo High School, the Astumbo Middle School, the Liguan Elementary School, and the Adacao Elementary School. The schools are currently owned by the Guam Education Financing Foundation, an Iron Bridge affiliate, and special-purpose, non-profit entity that has agreed to maintain and insure the schools for 20 years, after which point ownership will revert to the Guam Department of Education.
The Guam Department of Education has been using a portion of its annual Compact Impact funds provided through the Office of Insular Affairs to support the public school system, including the Guam School Leaseback Program, since 2005.
The $5.7 million in Compact Impact funds are part of the $30 million in Compact Impact funds that are provided under U.S. Public Law 108-188 and distributed across several jurisdictions—American Samoa, Guam, the CNMI, and Hawaii. The Compact Impact funds are meant to help defray costs associated with increased demands placed on health, education, or infrastructure related to such services provided to legal migrants from the freely associated states of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, and Palau to these U.S. jurisdictions. Under U.S. Public Law 108-188, the availability of mandatory Compact Impact funds through the Office of Insular Affairs will cease after fiscal year 2023. (PR)