Tuesday, August 30, 2011

DoD Announces School Buildings Ratings

The Department of Defense announced today the findings of the facilities assessment which is part of an overall education review of public schools on military installations and operated by local education agencies (LEAs).

The replacement of local obsolete and deteriorating schools was a primary objective of the Chamber's annual Washington-to-Washington, D.C. trip for the last two years.  A cooperative effort with the Clover Park School District and other community advocates resulted in a new and first funding for replacement of schools on installations. 

Each school was graded red, yellow or green in two criteria condition and capacity based on the assessment. The schools were then grouped based on similar condition and capacity ratings, and then the schools were banded based on criteria scoring three points for red, two points for yellow, and one point for green. Finally, the schools are ranked within each band by the numerical score for condition (worst to best). Condition is weighted slightly heavier than capacity.


Band One: Hillside ES

Band Two: Carter Lake ES

Band Four: Greenwood ES, Clarkmoor ES, Beechwood ES

Band Six: Evergreen ES

Not Rated (Closed): Heartwood ES

"The Department of Defense is strongly committed to ensuring that the children of military families receive an excellent education that prepares them for successful careers and to be active contributors to their communities and the nation," said Leon Panetta, secretary of defense. "High quality facilities and instruction are essential, of course, to providing the kind of education they deserve. That's a top priority."

Based on the Defense Department's priority list, public schools on military installations with the greatest need will be invited by the Office of Economic Adjustment to apply for grants to be used towards construction, renovation, repair, or expansion of current facilities. The grants will be paid through provisions in Section 8109 of Public Law 112-10, the "Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011," which appropriates $250 million recapitalization of public schools on military installations.

Only LEAs that operate a public school on a military installation, and receive a written invitation from OEA, may request funds under this program. OEA will initially request LEAs with schools having the most serious capacity or facility condition deficiencies as determined by DoD to submit proposals. DoD will conduct an initial meeting with representatives of the invited LEAs, and representatives from their respective installations and States, to discuss the specific deficiencies noted for the affected school, the purpose of the funding, the application process, and the matching share requirement. As decisions are made, additional LEAs on the Priority List may be notified until all funds are exhausted.

"The education review and its findings are part of DoD's overall ongoing strategy to ensure school-aged children of our service members receive an excellent education encompassing the entire individual regardless of their age, capabilities or goals." said Clifford Stanley, under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness.

The key areas for the triennial assessment are condition, capacity and age using the Department of Defense Quality Rating – Q-Rating – standards. Based on these assessments DoDEA has developed a five-year investment plan of $3.7 billion for fiscal years 2011-2016 to add, replace, and/or renovate schools:

• Currently 134 of the 194 schools (70 percent) within DoDEA rate at the Q-3 or Q-4 level – meaning they are safe but under-maintained or need to be replaced.

• The goal of the recapitalization plan is to ensure all 194 schools are rated at a Q-1 (new or well-maintained) or Q-2 (satisfactorily maintained) condition standard by fiscal year 2018.

DoD assessed the condition and capacity of 157 of the 160 public schools on military installations. Three of the 160 public schools were not included in the assessment because they were built within the last year.

For more information on the school facility assessment, including the schools priority list, methodology and grant process, click here .

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