Pacific Newsroom

DoDEA Pacific in the News

DoDEA Pacific in Social Media

Chat with us on Facebook    Tweet with us on Twitter   Check us out on SmugMug  View us on YouTube  Watch us on schoolcube!

DoDEA Pacific Public Affairs

Latest Press Releases


DoDEA Pacific teacher becomes state-level finalist in National awards program

A Department of Defense Education Activity Korea District teacher was recently selected as a state-level finalist in The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching—an honor reserved for the most distinguished mathematics and science teachers in the United States.

DoDEA Korea District Superintendent Dr. Judith Allen

Allen named superintendent for the DoDEA Korea District

Department of Defense Education Activity Pacific Director Dr. Linda Curtis has named Dr. Judith Allen as the superintendent for the DoDEA Korea District. Allen is a career educator with extensive teaching and administrative experience. She joined DoDEA more than 30 years ago as a classroom teacher in Europe and went on to hold a number of positions of progressive responsibility before being selected as the assistant superintendent for the DoDEA Korea District in 2011.


Ceremonies, smiles abound as DoDEA Pacific completes first week of 2014-15 school year

More than 23,000 students and 3,000 professional educators and support staff returned to Department of Defense Education Activity Pacific schools Aug. 25-29 for the first week of the new school year.


Coyle named DoDEA Pacific Deputy Director for Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment

DoDEA Pacific Director Dr. Linda Curtis announced today the selection of Dr. Gael Coyle as DoDEA Pacific Deputy Director for Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment.

DoDEA Pacific names 2014 Volunteer Excellence Award recipients

DoDEA Pacific Director Dr. Linda Curtis recently announced the selection of the 2014 DoDEA Pacific Volunteer Excellence Award winners.

District & School News

Back to Previous Page | All News Items

DODEA ramping up effort to fix dilapidated schools

Stars & Stripes
Okinawa | June 21, 2012

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — The Department of Defense Education Activity said Thursday that it plans to massively ramp up construction efforts in order to meet its goal of replacing 134 severely aging schools — 78 percent of its facilities around the world — before the end of the decade.

So far, only a fraction of those deteriorating schools is in the process of being rebuilt or is factored into drafts of next year’s federal budget. Meanwhile, 102 schools that have aged beyond repair remain unbudgeted.

In what could be one of its largest facilities overhauls ever, the agency will request about $2.2 billion from Congress over just a two-year period beginning in the fall of 2013 to replace those remaining schools and eliminate a widespread problem of failing building standards before the end of 2019, DODEA Director Marilee Fitzgerald said.

Most base schools in the Pacific, Europe and the United States were built during the Cold War — some are even pre-World War II — and are failing physically, according to DODEA’s own surveys. The lack of major upgrades over the years has led to deterioration of roofs, plumbing, wiring, and heating and cooling systems, which are often too costly to fix in a critically aging school.

The price tag for the agency’s 2010 plan to replace the old buildings is estimated to top $3.7 billion, according to DODEA, and the bulk of the money must now be requested over the next two years as Congress wrestles with the possibility of mandatory defense cuts.

“You talk about the pressures that are there in the [federal] budget. There is a great deal of pressure and concern that these schools meet quality standards,” Fitzgerald said. “We must not forget that these schools are in this condition because they were neglected over time.”

So far, Congress has given DODEA funding over the past two years to renovate 23 base schools, mostly in the U.S. and Europe, and those projects are moving forward. Four stateside projects to replace or renovate schools are now in the contracting phase, according to a program schedule supplied by DODEA.

The agency hopes to receive enough to rebuild another nine as part of the federal budget for the upcoming fiscal year, which is now being hashed out by Congress. Five of those schools are in Japan, with others in Germany, the United Kingdom, South Korea and Kentucky, the program schedule shows.

Fitzgerald said the vast majority of schools are included in the latter half of DODEA’s five-year budget plan for the massive renovation project in order to build momentum over time.

“There is no question that the out years [of the construction program] are larger, absolutely … the 2014 and 2015 program is a healthy program,” she said. “We knew at the onset that this would be an aggressive military construction program.”

Fitzgerald insisted the agency will not have a challenge securing billions of dollars in federal funding for the work. DODEA Chief of Facilities Mike Smiley said construction of all 134 new schools will be completed by the end of fiscal 2018.

“By 2018 the children will be in the seats,” Fitzgerald said.

But the Department of Defense faces $500 billion in automatic budget cuts over 10 years beginning in January if Congress does not find a solution to the process known as sequestration.

Fitzgerald said the Office of Management and Budget has so far not released any guidance on how to deal with sequestration, meaning the agency is continuing with its current renovation plans and not factoring in any cuts to future budgets.

“They’ll get done,” she said. “These schools cannot be delayed.”

Stars and Stripes
Published: June 21, 2012

Back to Previous Page | All News Items

DoDEA Pacific News Resources
AFN Casey
Official Facebook page for AFN Casey.
AFN Daegu
Official Facebook page for AFN Daegu.
AFN Korea
Official YouTube channel for AFN Korea.
AFN Okinawa
Official YouTube channel for AFN Okinawa
AFN Osan
Official Facebook page for AFN Osan.
AFN Sasebo
Official Facebook page for AFN Sasebo.
AFN Sasebo YouTube
Watch video news stories produces by AFN Sasebo.
AFN Tokyo
Official website for AFN Tokyo
AFN Yongsan
Official Facebook page for AFN Yongsan.
Andersen AFB News
Latest news and archives.
Kadena AB News
Latest news stories and archives.
MCAS Iwakuni News
Latest news from: weekly newspaper, online magazine, news stories, photo gallery, AFN Iwakuni, news briefs, press releases and local event information.
Misawa AB News
Latest news and archives.
Okinawa Marine
Commercial enterprise newspaper. Contents of the Okinawa Marine are not necessarily the official views of, or endorsed by the United States Government, DoD, or the United States Marine Corps. The appearance of advertising in this publication, including inserts and supplements, does not constitute endorsement by DoD or MCCS of the services advertised.
Osan AB News
Latest news and archives.
Stars & Stripes Pacific
Official Stars & Stripes newspaper, Pacific specific.
Stripes Kanto
Community posts and news, some of which are published in the weekly Stripes Kanto news publication.
USMC Okinawa
Official YouTube channel for USMC Okinawa.
Yokota AB News
Latest news and archives.