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Child care, schools get some relief from furloughs

May. 14, 2013 - 04:51PM   |  
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Military child care centers and schools for military children will get some relief from the Defense Department’s civilian furloughs.

A memo issued Tuesday by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel states that child care centers will receive an exemption, with the understanding that the centers will have the “minimum [staffing] level needed to maintain accreditation and maintain quality care for children in military families.”

Hagel’s memo noted that 555 Army child development center employees, 514 Navy and Marine Corps child development center employees and 1,634 Air Force child development center employees will be exempt from the furloughs. It was not immediately known how many CDC employees will be subject to furloughs.

Department of Defense schools, which had also asked for an exemption to furloughs, still must carry them out. But nine-month employees — such as teachers, educational aids, and support staff — will be furloughed for up to five days, from the beginning of the school year through Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year. Hagel noted that the employees may be furloughed only when they are in a pay status, not over the summer.

The reduction in days may be a recognition of the fact that there wouldn’t be time to get in 11 furlough days between the time schools open and the end of September. School officials have said previously that they plan to close the schools on furlough days, rather than keep them open with classrooms having to be doubled up with students.

In a memo to her employees today, Department of Defense Education Activity director Marilee Fitzgerald said she was “saddened” to forward the memorandum and message from Hagel requiring managers to prepare for the furloughs.

The departmentwide furloughs begin July 8 at the rate of one furlough day per week for most personnel, leading to 11 furlough days. That is a reduction from the previously planned 14 days.

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