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Defense Spending Bill Would Continue School Construction Effort

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  • May 31, 2011
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Elementary and secondary public schools at military installations would get a second $250 million injection of funding, under a provision in the draft fiscal 2012 defense spending bill released Tuesday by the House Appropriations Committee.

The FY 2011 budget deal reached less than two months ago also allocated $250 million for the effort. The funding in both instances is designated for the construction, renovation, repair or expansion of public schools located on installations. Priority consideration for distributing the funds — which would flow through DOD’s Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) or be transferred to the Department of Education — should be given to bases with schools suffering the most severe capacity or facility condition deficiencies, according to the draft bill.

The funds could be used to make grants, conclude cooperative agreements or supplement other federal funds.

The House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee is scheduled to mark up the draft spending bill Wednesday in a closed session.

A separate provision would provide $33 million to help Guam’s civilian population deal with the relocation of 8,600 Marines from Okinawa. Needs the money could be used for include vehicles and supplies for civilian student transportation, preservation and repository of artifacts unearthed during military construction, and construction of a mental health and substance abuse facility.

OEA would be responsible for disbursing the funds, which could be used to make grants, conclude cooperative agreements or supplement other federal funds.

In total, the spending measure would provide $530 billion in non-emergency defense spending, an increase of $17 billion over FY 2011 but a decline of $9 billion from President Obama’s budget request.

The spending bill is available on the Appropriations Committee’s website.

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