Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mortar Boards Cap School Needs

New schools for our military-dependent children!

That's the welcome news from Cong. Norm Dicks, who said, “one of the most urgent concerns for our deployed troops is for their families and kids to be properly cared for, and one area where we have seen great deficiency is the condition of our on-base schools.”

The details, covered in The News Tribune, speak to replacing six schools through consolidation and new construction.  This Congressional initiative follows on remarks by Secretary of Defense Gates, who expressed serious concern during a visit to Fort Riley, KS in May.

These complementary efforts by Congress and the Administration follow on homework by Clover Park School District, operator of the on-base schools and the Chamber.  Chamber Pres. David Graybill collaborated in the production of an educational video that demonstrated the needs and the value for our children.

Led by Chamber Board member Jeff Brown, BCRA, the Chamber made this issue a principal objective during its Washington-to-Washington, D.C. trip in 2009, with conversations with the Pentagon, Office of Economic Adjustment and Congressional offices.  Cong. Smith's offices note that there has been a real turn-around in this issue within the last eight months.

That Chamber initiative was continued during the 2010 Washington-to-Washington, D.C. trip during meetings with Dr. Craig Collge, Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management and members of Congress.  Again at that time, Cong. Dicks indicated a strong commitment to addressing this problem.

Next steps will include full adoption of the authorization and approriation bills for the Defense budgets.

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