Pentagon Outlines Details of $250M Initiative to Upgrade On-Base Schools

The Defense Department released details Friday as to how it would distribute $250 million in funds to construct, renovate, repair or expand elementary and secondary schools operated by local school districts on military installations that are in poor condition or experiencing overcrowding.

Congress included the initiative in the spending bill it approved in April allocating funds to keep the government running for the remainder of fiscal 2011. As a result, DOD’s Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) has established a one-time, non-competitive program to disburse the funds.

OEA will use the priority list of schools with the most serious capacity or facility condition deficiencies recently approved by the department to invite local education agencies to apply for funding, according to the Sept. 9 Federal Register notice. To review the requests, a “multi-disciplined federal evaluation team” will conduct site visits before making a recommendation to the OEA director. Education agencies whose requests are approved by OEA will need to complete a formal grant application.

As OEA makes funding decisions, it may invite additional education agencies on the priority list to apply for funding until the available funds are exhausted, according to the notice.

Education agencies will be asked to provide 20 percent of a project’s total cost in cash, through an in-kind contribution or a combination of the two. OEA will count other federal or non-federal grants toward the matching share requirement.


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