Schools on Military Bases Could Close Under Defense Cuts

Monday, February 13, 2012

If massive Defense Department cuts go through next year, little-noticed potential victims on the chopping block include the schools on military bases in the U.S. and abroad.

The cuts could close some of those schools, cut employees and possibly increase the size of classes in those schools that remain open, according to an analysis of the cuts prepared in September by the Republican staff on the House Armed Services Committee. The analysis did not name any specific schools.

Parents potentially could pay $2,200 per student for enrollment in the remaining schools, the analysis said.

In addition, the Defense Department would no longer pay school districts for the impact of large numbers of students from military families attending local schools, according to the report.

In offering an overview of his agency's five-year budget on Jan. 26, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta did not mention closing on-base schools as part of a broad effort to reduce military spending by $259 billion. But he said the cuts required "a series of tough budget choices."

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