B-128610, AUG. 30, 1956

B-128610: Aug 30, 1956

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GAGNIER: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED JUNE 29. WHILE YOU WERE ON DUTY IN FRANCE. IT WAS STATED THAT UPON YOUR ARRIVAL IN FRANCE FOR DUTY IN NOVEMBER 1955 YOU REGISTERED TWO OF YOUR CHILDREN AT THE SCHOOL FOR AMERICAN DEPENDENTS AT GARCHES. YOU SAID THAT ALTHOUGH THERE WAS A SCHOOL BUS TO PICK UP AND RETURN YOUR CHILDREN TO THE DOOR OF YOUR RESIDENCE IN ST. IT WAS EXPLAINED THAT THE CHILDREN WERE REQUIRED TO BE READY AT 7:30 A.M. WHEN THE BUS WAS SCHEDULED TO PASS YOUR DOOR. THAT THE BUS WAS FREQUENTLY AS MUCH AS AN HOUR LATE IN ITS PICKUPS AND RETURNS WHICH HAD A DETRIMENTAL EFFECT ON THE CHILDREN'S HEALTH AND AN ADVERSE EFFECT ON THEIR SCHOOL PROGRESS. THAT THE THE FACILITIES AT GARCHES WERE INADEQUATE.

B-128610, AUG. 30, 1956

TO MAJOR JAMES L. GAGNIER:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED JUNE 29, 1956, REQUESTING RECONSIDERATION OF OUR SETTLEMENT DATED JUNE 6, 1956, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF TUITION IN THE AMOUNT OF 36,000 FRANCS PAID FOR THE PRIVATE SCHOOLING OF YOUR FOUR CHILDREN DURING THE PERIOD JANUARY, FEBRUARY AND MARCH 1956, WHILE YOU WERE ON DUTY IN FRANCE.

IN SUPPORT OF YOUR ORIGINAL CLAIM DATED JANUARY 30, 1956, ADDRESSED TO THE FINANCE AND ACCOUNTING OFFICER, 7754TH ARMY UNIT, IT WAS STATED THAT UPON YOUR ARRIVAL IN FRANCE FOR DUTY IN NOVEMBER 1955 YOU REGISTERED TWO OF YOUR CHILDREN AT THE SCHOOL FOR AMERICAN DEPENDENTS AT GARCHES. YOU SAID THAT ALTHOUGH THERE WAS A SCHOOL BUS TO PICK UP AND RETURN YOUR CHILDREN TO THE DOOR OF YOUR RESIDENCE IN ST. GERMAIN EN-LAYE, YOU FOUND IT TO BE A HARDSHIP ON THE CHILDREN BECAUSE OF THE TIME AND DISTANCE INVOLVED. IT WAS EXPLAINED THAT THE CHILDREN WERE REQUIRED TO BE READY AT 7:30 A.M., WHEN THE BUS WAS SCHEDULED TO PASS YOUR DOOR, BUT THAT THE BUS WAS FREQUENTLY AS MUCH AS AN HOUR LATE IN ITS PICKUPS AND RETURNS WHICH HAD A DETRIMENTAL EFFECT ON THE CHILDREN'S HEALTH AND AN ADVERSE EFFECT ON THEIR SCHOOL PROGRESS. FOR THESE REASONS, YOU WITHDREW THE CHILDREN FROM THE SCHOOL AT GARCHES AND ENROLLED ALL FOUR OF YOUR CHILDREN AT THE COURS STE.-THERESE DE L ENFANT-JESUS, IN ST. GERMAIN-EN-LAYE AT A COST OF 12,000 FRANCS A MONTH, AND EXPRESS THE BELIEF, IN VIEW OF THE ABOVE CIRCUMSTANCES, THAT THE THE FACILITIES AT GARCHES WERE INADEQUATE.

YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE REASON THAT THE STATUTORY PROVISIONS AUTHORIZING THE SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE SUPPORT OF SCHOOLS IN ANY LOCALITY WHERE A MILITARY OR NAVAL ACTIVITY IS SITUATED, IF HE FINDS THAT THE AVAILABLE SCHOOLS ARE INADEQUATE FOR THE WELFARE OF THE DEPENDENTS OF THE SERVICE PERSONNEL STATIONED AT THAT ACTIVITY, CONTAIN NO PROVISION ENABLING PARENTS TO MAKE THEIR OWN ARRANGEMENTS FOR PRIVATE SCHOOLING OF THEIR CHILDREN.

YOU NOW SAY THAT IF THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE HAS AUTHORITY TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE SUPPORT OF THE SCHOOLS WHERE A MILITARY ACTIVITY IS SITUATED WHEN THE AVAILABLE SCHOOLS IN THE LOCALITY WERE INADEQUATE, YOU BELIEVE THAT THERE SHOULD BE A FINDING OF ADEQUACY BEFORE DETERMINING YOUR ENTITLEMENT.

AUTHORITY FOR THE PAYMENT OF THE COST OF EDUCATION OF DEPENDENTS OF MILITARY PERSONNEL FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1956 IS CONTAINED IN SECTION 609 OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE APPROPRIATION ACT, 1956, 69 STAT. 315, IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

"APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE FOR THE CURRENT FISCAL YEAR SHALL BE AVAILABLE, (A) EXCEPT AS AUTHORIZED BY THE ACT OF SEPTEMBER 30, 1950 (20 U.S.C. 236-244), FOR PRIMARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOLING FOR DEPENDENTS OF MILITARY AND CIVILIAN PERSONNEL OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE RESIDING ON MILITARY OR NAVAL INSTALLATIONS OR STATIONED IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES, AS AUTHORIZED FOR THE NAVY BY SECTION 13 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 2, 1946 (5 U.S.C. 421D) IN AMOUNTS NOT EXCEEDING AN AVERAGE OF $240 PER STUDENT, WHEN THE SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED FINDS THAT SCHOOLS, IF ANY, AVAILABLE IN THE LOCALITY, ARE UNABLE TO PROVIDE ADEQUATELY FOR THE EDUCATION OF SUCH DEPENDENTS * * *.'

SECTION 13 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 2, 1946, 60 STAT. 854, PROVIDES:

"THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY MAY, OUT OF FUNDS SPECIFICALLY APPROPRIATED FOR THAT PURPOSE CONTRIBUTE TO THE SUPPORT OF SCHOOLS IN LOCALITIES WHERE NAVAL ACTIVITIES ARE LOCATED IF HE FINDS THAT THE SCHOOLS, IF ANY, AVAILABLE IN THE LOCALITY ARE NOT ADEQUATE FOR THE WELFARE OF DEPENDENTS OF PERSONNEL OF THE NAVAL ESTABLISHMENT STATIONED AT THE ACTIVITY, AND MAY PROVIDE FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF SUCH DEPENDENTS BETWEEN THE SCHOOLS AND THE ACTIVITIES WHEN SUCH SCHOOLS ARE NOT ACCESSIBLE TO SUCH DEPENDENT BY REGULAR MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION.'

THESE PROVISIONS AUTHORIZE THE SECRETARY CONCERNED TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE SUPPORT OF SCHOOLS IN ANY LOCALITY WHERE A MILITARY OR NAVAL ACTIVITY IS SITUATED WHEN HE FINDS THAT THE SCHOOLS AVAILABLE IN THE LOCALITY ARE INADEQUATE FOR THE WELFARE OF THE DEPENDENTS OF THE SERVICE PERSONNEL STATIONED AT THAT ACTIVITY. THE PURPOSE OF THE LEGISLATION WAS TO SUPPLEMENT, WHEREVER NECESSARY, INADEQUATE LOCAL SCHOOLING FACILITIES SO THAT SERVICEMEN'S DEPENDENTS LIVING THERE MIGHT RECEIVE NORMAL EDUCATIONAL ADVANTAGES. TO ACCOMPLISH THAT PURPOSE, HOWEVER, IT CONTEMPLATES THAT ANY NECESSARY AGREEMENTS OR ARRANGEMENTS WITH LOCAL SCHOOLS IN THE PROGRAM SHALL BE MADE BY THE APPROPRIATE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS AFTER A DETERMINATION OF INADEQUACIES OF THE LOCAL FACILITIES HAS BEEN MADE, AND THAT NECESSARY PAYMENTS TO THE SCHOOLS UNDER SUCH ARRANGEMENTS OR AGREEMENTS IS MADE BY FISCAL AGENTS OF THE GOVERNMENT. IT DOES NOT AUTHORIZE THE OBLIGATION OF APPROPRIATED FUNDS BY AN INDIVIDUAL BY PRIVATE AGREEMENT WITH A LOCAL SCHOOL TO RECEIVE INSTRUCTIONS FOR HIS DEPENDENT EVEN THOUGH PRECEDED BY A FINDING BY PROPER ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORITY OF AN INADEQUACY OF THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS. 33 COMP. GEN. 399. NOTHING IS CONTAINED IN AIR FORCE REGULATION 34-50, DATED MAY 9, 1955, WHICH AUTHORIZES OR APPEARS TO CONTEMPLATE AUTHORIZING SUCH PRIVATE AGREEMENTS. CONSEQUENTLY, THERE IS NO PROPER BASIS FOR REIMBURSING YOU FOR THE FUNDS PAID TO THE SCHOOL IN FRANCE FOR YOUR CHILDREN'S EDUCATION.