Military Dependents' Education:
Current Program Information and Potential Savings in DODDS
T-HEHS-94-155, Apr 26, 1994
GAO discussed its review of enrollment and cost information regarding the education of military dependents. GAO noted that: (1) most military dependents are enrolled in the Department of Education's Impact Aid Program, which provides money to 2,600 local school districts to replace revenues lost to federal activities; (2) Education's budget proposal for 1995 projects a sharp decrease in military dependents enrolled in Impact Aid; (3) the Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DODDS) maintains 209 schools in 19 countries at a per-pupil cost of about $9,000; (4) DODDS enrollment dropped from 150,000 to a projected 97,000 for 1995, largely due to military downsizing; (5) the DODDS policy for educating all authorized dependents has resulted in some very small schools that cannot take advantage of economies of scale and may have difficulty providing a high-quality education; (6) DODDS could realize savings if it did not authorize school-age dependents to areas without DODDS schools, provide free education to unauthorized dependents, and charged full tuition to non-DOD students; and (7) DOD also runs 67 Section 6 schools located on military bases in 7 states and Puerto Rico at a per-pupil cost of about $7,000.