Omnibus Includes $235M to Upgrade, Replace Dilapidated Schools on Bases
By Dan Cohen
Article originally posted on defensecommunities.org.
Lawmakers included $235 million in the fiscal 2018 omnibus spending bill signed into law last week to construct, renovate or expand elementary and secondary public schools on military installations. The funding represents the latest tranche of funding Congress has allocated since FY 2011 to DOD’s Public Schools on Military Installations program for repairing or replacing schools having the most serious capacity or condition deficiencies. The program is administered by the Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA). A local educational agency or state is required to provide matching funds to receive a DOD grant under the program, according to the measure. … Meanwhile, the omnibus includes $57.8 million for OEA’s various grant programs supporting communities and states addressing BRAC and mission changes, defense industry cutbacks and compatible land use issues. The allocation matches the administration’s FY 2018 budget request and is roughly in line with the agency’s baseline funding over the past decade. … Congress also included language in the $1.3 trillion spending package barring any of the funds from being used “to propose, plan for or execute” a new BRAC round. With lawmakers already prohibiting the Pentagon from launching a round of base closures in the defense authorization bill, the provision is superfluous but not unexpected as it has been included in past appropriations bills.