DOD Dependents Schools:

Enrollment Categories, Numbers, and Locations

HEHS-95-149: Published: Sep 18, 1995. Publicly Released: Sep 18, 1995.

Additional Materials:


Carlotta C. Joyner
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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO provided information on educating Department of Defense (DOD) dependents overseas, focusing on: (1) legislation that establishes eligibility and authorizes funding for students to enroll in DOD Dependents Schools (DODDS) as space becomes available; (2) the number of space-available students enrolled and their locations; and (3) the circumstances surrounding high space-available enrollments in some schools.

GAO found that: (1) the Secretary of Defense is authorized to establish enrollment eligibility for space-available students and has categorized space-available students as either tuition-paying or tuition-free; (2) tuition-paying students can be either dependents of U.S. government agency sponsors or retired military and foreign national sponsors; (3) tuition-free, space-available students are the dependents of DOD sponsors who are not authorized government transportation and housing overseas for their dependents; (4) DOD is required to only include the cost of educating space-required and tuition-paying students in its budget request, but DODDS has not followed these instructions; (5) although tuition-free, space-available students only represent about 3 percent of the DODDS student population, the percentage is much higher in Korea; (6) in school year 1994-1995, space-available enrollments represented about 6 percent of total DODDS enrollment, almost half of which were tuition-free; and (7) although 75 percent of DODDS schools had space-available enrollments of 5 percent or less, four schools had enrollments of over 65 percent.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: DOD does not concur with the GAO recommendation. It does not agree that DODDS has failed to adhere to House Armed Services Committee instructions to exclude the cost of educating space available, tuition free students (i.e., noncommand sponsored dependents) from its budget requests.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should propose to Congress alternatives, and their costs, to bring DODDS into compliance with budgetary guidelines that prohibit DOD from requesting funds for space-available, tuition-free students and that consider the compliance, disciplinary, and social problems that currently exist.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense


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