Exception Policy

Exception Policy

Requests for an exception to policy are reviewed and responded to by the DoDEA Director, or designee. Any request to exceed the education allowance rate for your location and/or educational option, requires review and approval from the DoDEA Director. The sponsor MUST be registered with the NDSP prior to requesting an exception to policy. With required documentation, the NDSP will consider exceptions to policy in situations related to safety and/or access.

Please review DoDEA Administrative Instruction 5035.01 before preparing and submitting any request for an exception. DoDEA can only provide exceptions to DoDEA policy, not to the Department of State Standardized Regulations (DSSR), federal law or fiscal law.

ALL EXCEPTION REQUESTS must be submitted in writing to NDSP Program Management and include:

  • A letter signed and submitted by the sponsor that addresses the extenuating circumstances for which the sponsor is requesting an exception to policy.
  • Any documentation that directly supports the request (letters from school administration, teacher, counselor, report cards, medical)
  • A signed memorandum by the command (or higher ranking official) endorsing the exception to policy.
  • Total amount requested; a breakdown and documentation of all associated costs.

All requests concerning transportation must include answers to the following questions:

  • Is transportation provided by the school?
  • What is the distance from your home to the school?
  • What is the distance from your home to the nearest bus stop?
  • Did you choose your home or was it assigned?
  • Were there closer schools available? Does the closer school(s) provide transportation?

All requests concerning a change of school must also include:

  • A detailed rationale for request to include a timeline of events.
  • Evidence that a refund was requested from the losing school; including refund amount and date expected.
  • Evidence that reasonable reconciliation was attempted with the school which should include documentation that includes incident reports, letters/receipts from a doctor or counselor, or letters/emails between you and the school.


  • Requests to exceed the education allowance may take in excess of thirty days to adjudicate.
  • The NDSP may authorize obligation of funds for the current school year only. No multi-year exceptions are authorized.

NDSP will carefully consider all the information before any decisions are made. A letter will be sent providing the decision and our rationale for the decision. In cases where there is further evidence to present, you may appeal the decision.

Appeals will include a complete review of your claim by our appellate review authority. . The reviewer will look at all the original evidence submitted and consider new evidence or mitigating factors.

Sponsors wishing to appeal must do so in writing within 30 days from the date the decision letter was received. All appeals, with the exception of exceeding the education allowance rate, must be made in writing to the Director of DoDEA. When appealing a denial to exceed the education allowance rate you must make your request in writing to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, through the Director of DoDEA.


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