On-Base Schools Funding Falls Short of Total Repair Needs, Official Says
The $250 million Congress allocated this year to repair deteriorating elementary and secondary schools on military installations will cover only a small portion of facilities that are in poor condition, a senior DOD official said Wednesday.
The fiscal 2011 funding will allow the department to start renovating or replacing about a dozen schools run by local school districts, Jo Ann Rooney, principal deputy undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, told iWatch News, the online publication of the Center for Public Integrity. A recent Pentagon report, however, found that about 62 of the 157 civilian-run schools are in poor or failing condition.
“There is a lot of work that needs to be done. Two hundred and fifty million dollars will not cover it,” Rooney told iWatch News. “Depending on whether there is additional money coming forward, I can’t predict when those next groups of schools would actually be addressed,” she said.
DOD’s Office of Economic Adjustment currently is inviting schools on the department’s priority list to apply for funding.
The prospect of gaining additional funding to upgrade base schools operated by local districts is uncertain, according to the story. Congressional staff have considered adding another $250 million for school construction to FY 2012 appropriations.
“There is support there but it’s just a matter of whether the budget will allow it,” an official with the National Association of Federally Impacted Schools said.