September 4, 2011

The other Casualty of war

  • Tens of thousands of children attend schools on military installations that are falling apart from age and neglect, and fail to meet Defense Department standards
  • Over 10 years, school conditions on bases have worsened while parents endured an average three deployments, each lasting 15 to 18 months.
  • Three in four schools run by the Pentagon are either beyond repair or would require extensive renovation to meet minimum standards.

The military’s own assessment puts 39 percent of the schools it operates in the worst category, “failing,” and 37 percent in “poor” physical shape.

Where military children go to school depends on circumstances often beyond families’ control. More than 500,000 children, the largest proportion, live off base, attending local schools in urban or suburban communities that often have significantly more resources. But families who live on military installations — either for economic, career or security reasons send their children to one of 194 base schools operated by the Pentagon around the world, or 159 base schools in the U.S. operated by local school districts. These students about 150,000 in all are likely to attend schools with significant structural deficiencies. Many buildings are nearly a half-century old. The Pentagon has placed 39 percent of its 194 schools in the worst category of “failing,” which means it costs more to renovate than replace them, reports to Congress show . Another 37 percent are classified in “poor” physical shape, which could require either replacement or expensive renovations to meet standards. Schools run by public systems on Army installations don’t fare much better: 39 percent fall in the failing or poor categories, according to a 2010 Army report .

A Defense Department task force is evaluating the 159 military base schools operated by local public systems. Only nine months into its work, the task force already has found indications of the larger problem; summaries of preliminary assessments of 15 schools shared with iWatch News  leave little room for doubt about the conditions. The summary for Geronimo Road, for instance, notes that it is in “failing condition” and “should be considered for replacement.” The Pentagon declined to provide a copy of its assessments for all 159 schools.
My children's school is one of them, it is so disheartening to me. Will it change? Can I make a diffrence?
When we decided to move on post my heart palpated at the thought of living on post and sending them to school here. Mr.W and I want the best for our children but sometimes we have to sacrifice. Living on Post saves us Money. But whats the Sacrafice? Is it the substandard learning conditions, the values of our community or lack their of?
I have come to Realize that I will NEVER find another school like Bookman Road Elementary. EVER! The quality of the school,staff, & support A-Mazing.. The kids had everything from art to spanish to P.E. Car line was orderly and made scence, Lunch time was calm and relaxing, not loud and chaotic.
 What I can say about the kids current School is that the TEACHERS WANT TO BE THERE. They are determined and care for all theses Military Children. Being involved in the school for the last 2 weeks  I my self also feel a sence of stewardship over these amazing little people. Each one has there own story. I not only want the best for my children, but all the children. They sacrafice so much, they deserve the best. 

0 Happy Thoughts: