Department of Defense Education Activity
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Focus and Scope of the CEOA Assessment

teacher and students

The Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) operates 60 schools on 15 military installations within the continental United States (CONUS) at a cost of $375.7M annually. The schools are located on military installations in seven states: Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky and New York. The first dependent schools were established in the 1950s on military installations in states that prohibited integrated education or the provision of a free public education to federal children and/or local education agencies were unable to provide an appropriate education.

The Department of Defense (DoD) is authorized to operate schools on military installations in the United States (including territories, possessions, and commonwealths) under Title 10, Section 2164. DoDEA also has contracts (special arrangements) with LEAs to operate schools on 3 additional installations at a cost of $23.3M.

In view of the recent expansion of other public and quasi-public school options across the nation, the DoD directed DoDEA (through the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness (USD P&R), with participation by the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) and the Director of Cost Analysis and Program Evaluation (CAPE) to:

  • Conduct an assessment of DoDEA's DDESS operated schools;
  • Assess education options that most effectively balance cost and quality considerations for the nearly 23,000 students of military families attending DoDEA's 60 DDESS schools in CONUS. DDESS Schools in Guam and Puerto Rico are not included in this study; and
  • Assess education options for the nearly 1,400 students attending five contracted schools at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware; Hanscom Air Force Base in Massachusetts, and secondary school students attending Highland Falls Schools adjacent to the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, New York.

The study is ongoing. Recommendations and findings will be presented to the DoD upon completion. The findings/recommendations will be reviewed by senior officials in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Military Departments.