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Posts Tagged ‘schools’

DOD Awards $54M to Schools on Travis AFB, JB Lewis-McChord

  • July 19, 2015
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The Defense Department is awarding $54.1 million to school districts in northern California and Washington state to upgrade elementary schools at neighboring military installations, DOD announced last week. The Travis Unified School District will receive $13.8 million to renovate and expand Scandia Elementary School at Travis Air Force Base, Calif. The district is providing an additional $3.4 million in non-federal matching funds for the project which will serve over 500 military-connected students. The Clover Park School District will receive $40.3 million to replace Evergreen Elementary School at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. …

Education Overhaul Calls for Tracking Military Kids’ Performance

  • July 15, 2015
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Language in the House and Senate versions of legislation to overhaul the No Child Left Behind law would require states for the first time to track the academic progress of military children.
Tracking the performance of military children in school would help policymakers assess whether the nation’s education laws are working, said Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), who sponsored an amendment in committee in April to add a military child identifier to the Senate bill. The House passed its version of the bill replacing the current K-12 education law last week; the Senate is debating its measure this week. Both versions contain language requiring states to collect data on military children …

Army Study Spurs Local Leaders to Improve School Quality

  • July 5, 2015
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The bulk of public school systems serving Army children fall broadly within the middle range when compared to other schools within their state, according to an Army-sponsored review of the quality of public schools and student achievement. The Army never released the 2014 study by WestEd, but officials have discussed the results with local school districts, Military Times reported last week. The study evaluates 393 public schools that serve 200 or more Army children on factors such as academic performance, attendance, student-teacher ratio, quality of teachers, graduation rate, and participation rates and performance on the ACT and SAT tests. WestEd researchers only compared the performance of schools serving Army dependents against state-wide norms, so it doesn’t help the Army or military families compare school systems across the nation …

Leaders in Alabama Community Upgrade Schools ahead of Next BRAC

  • July 1, 2015
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The southeastern Alabama city of Enterprise has been investing in its local schools and upgrading the school system’s curriculum to improve the standing of Fort Rucker in a future base closure round, city leaders told the media earlier this week. “The thing that is very important is that we took a proactive approach of not waiting until BRAC occurs,” said Mayor Kenneth Boswell. “We wanted to go ahead and be prepared for BRAC so that it could not be utilized against us.” The press conference followed last week’s release of a report from the Stimson Center highlighting the importance of school quality and student achievement in public schools located at Army communities …

DOD Working Group to Take Closer Look at Public Schools

  • June 30, 2015
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The Pentagon has formed a DOD-wide working group to address issues related to the quality of public schools that serve military kids. “They’re looking across all the military services, with respect to what the larger department might be able to do to address some of the concerns we have with public schools,” said Carla Coulson, director of installation services for the Army’s office of the assistant chief of staff for installation management, reported Military Times. Last week, a think tank highlighted the importance of school quality and student achievement in public schools located at Army communities. It used data from an Army study that began in 2013 …

Army Monitoring Performance of Local Schools, Report Warns

  • June 26, 2015
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Differences in school quality and student performance could be a significant selection criteria if the Army has an opportunity to recommend installations for closure, warns a new report from the Stimson Center directed at Army communities. “States and communities should consider the connection between education standards and basing decisions as part of the larger context for their education policies even though the Army’s level of priority on this issue and its plan for engaging with Congress are uncertain,” concludes the report, The Army Goes to School: The Connection between K-12 Education Standards and the Military-Base Economy. Over 300,000 children of active-duty service members in the Army are affected by educational standards which vary wildly from one school to the next …

Support Group Spearheads Initiative to Raise Quality of Schools near Ft. Polk

  • June 26, 2015
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After Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno warned governors in October 2013 that school performance would affect the service’s future stationing decisions, Fort Polk Progress responded by forming, leading and integrating a broad and ambitious initiative to improve public school outside the Louisiana post. Fort Polk Progress, a regional community organization that supports Fort Polk’s continued presence in Vernon Parish, used its experience in collaborating with local, state and federal partners to acquire funding for its education initiative and to bring its many partners into the fold. The partnership includes the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, the Vernon Parish School District, and a variety of state agencies, educational institutions and businesses …

Senate Bill Would Allow Favorable Lease Terms to Local Schools

  • June 17, 2015
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Local school systems would be able to lease property at military installations for less than fair market value, under a provision in the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill now under debate in the Senate. The bill would amend 10 U.S.C. Section 2667 — the federal statute authorizing the enhanced use leasing program — to allow the military services to lease non-excess property for less than fair market value to a local education agency, or to an elementary or secondary school. The change is intended to help school systems that support military families, according to the committee report accompanying the legislation. The bill text, S. 1376, and committee report, S. Rpt. 114-49, are available on congress.gov.

Academic Standards Can Help Support the Military, Report Says

  • June 9, 2015
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Academic standards adopted by Florida for its public schools, along with associated assessment tests, could help the state retains its military installations in a future BRAC round, according to the latest report from a nonprofit promoting smart investments in America’s children. The study from Mission: Readiness, a nonpartisan organization of over 500 retired senior military leaders, points to the Army’s recent effort to evaluate the achievement at public schools in communities neighboring its installations. “Rigorous standards and assessments can help schools serve military families and improve at a faster pace. This is especially important in light of recent studies showing that public schools near some military installations are lower on some measures of performance, including high school graduation rates, than other schools in the state …

Armed Services Panel Applauds Utilities Privatization, School Renovation Initiatives

  • May 10, 2015
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The House Armed Services Committee praised two initiatives that are resulting in upgraded facilities across DOD installations — utilities privatization and the construction and renovation of schools operated by local districts — in its report accompanying the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill. The department’s utilities privatization initiative has been able “to achieve greater efficiencies and reduce operating costs while recapitalizing aging utilities infrastructure with modern, reliable systems,” the committee stated. “In addition, the committee notes that utilities privatization can also enhance support to military missions,” according to the report …

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