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DoDEA schools won’t close for furloughs this school year

Apr. 11, 2013 - 05:26PM   |  
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The director of Defense Department schools has confirmed that schools will not close for any days during the remainder of this school year due to sequestration-imposed furloughs for staff, according to an email sent April 11.

But school officials don’t know how the furloughs — requiring up to 14 days without pay for DoD employees — will affect the beginning of next school year.

“I want to assure you that our furlough planning for school year 2013-14 will provide for a full year of academic credit for students and maintain school accreditation standards,” wrote Marilee Fitzgerald, director of the Department of Defense Education Activity, in an email to all DoDEA employees.

A copy was obtained by Military Times.

DoDEA will avoid closing schools this spring by not furloughing employees who work 9.5 months — including teachers, school nurses and counselors — during the remainder of the school year. “Thus, there will be no instructional loss this school year, and schools will remain open and in full operation,” Fitzgerald wrote.

It remains unclear how or if officials would fit furlough days for the 9.5-month employees into the new school year. In most cases, there are only seven to eight weeks between the first day of school and the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30, the deadline for taking all the required furlough days

DoD guidelines state employees would take one furlough day per week through Sept. 30 if the White House and Congress cannot agree on a budget deal that would repeal sequestration.

Twelve-month employees could start furloughs as early as mid-June. DoD officials announced March 28 that notices of proposed furloughs are delayed until early to mid-May, and they would not begin any earlier than mid- to late June. DoD also reduced the required number of furlough days to 14 from the original 22.

Fitzgerald wrote that officials don’t know how the proposed furloughs will affect employees on an 11-month work schedule — for example, principals.

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