Press Releases

Sen. Warner Praises Pentagon Decision to Cancel DoD School Furloughs

~ Good news for DoD schools serving military children at Va.’s Dahlgren and Quantico bases ~

Aug 07 2013

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) today praised a Pentagon decision to cancel the scheduled furloughs of teachers at Department of Defense (DoD) on-base schools located in Virginia, seven other states and at U.S. bases around the world. Since spring, Sen. Warner has repeatedly pressed Pentagon officials to rethink their announced plans to close these on-base schools one-day a week during the month of September, including schools at Naval Support Facility Dahlgren and Marine Corps Base Quantico.  

In a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and in Senate floor speeches in April and May, Sen. Warner had warned that the proposed teacher furloughs would be disruptive to military families, causing children to lose school days and other vital educational services even as their parents were serving overseas. The furlough cancellation news came yesterday as Secretary Hagel announced a DoD-wide reduction from 11 furlough days to six for year-round civilian employees, while also granting a specific furlough exemption for all Defense Department school employees.

“This is phenomenal news for military families, students and teachers at our base schools at Dahlgren and Quantico, who should not have to suffer because of Congress’ inability to get its fiscal act together,” Sen. Warner said. “Furloughing classroom teachers and shuttering entire schools right at the start of a new school year would have put unreasonable pressures on our military families, and imposed even more challenges on these educators. Our nation’s fiscal situation requires shared sacrifice, but our service members and our military families already bear the brunt of that sacrifice every day.”

"We are extremely relieved to hear Secretary Hagel’s announcement on the reduction of furlough days for DoD employees and the cancellation of furloughs for DoDEA teachers," said Vivian Greentree, Ph.D., Director of Research and Policy for Blue Star Families. "These second order effects of sequestration have hit both the readiness and the morale of our military community and military children quite hard at a time when we need support for our programming the most. However, we remain concerned about the long-terms effects of sequestration and will continue to look to leaders like Senator Warner to be an advocate for our military community." 

Approximately 83,391 students attend 193 DoD schools worldwide. The Defense Department operates on-base schools for military children in Virginia, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. At U.S. bases overseas, the on-base schools often provide the only educational option for children of American military families.