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DODEA schools to stay open if government shuts down

YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — Department of Defense Education Activity schools will continue their normal schedules in the event of a federal government shutdown, though headquarters offices could be hit by reduced staffing.

Teachers, administrators and support staff at base schools worldwide will report to work, even if Congress fails to pass a spending bill by Sept. 30 to keep the government running, school officials said Friday.

Employees at the district level will also continue work as usual, Pacific schools spokesman Charly Hoff said. However, higher-level functions at the area level could be affected by the potential shutdown. In the Pacific, the DODEA area office oversees the South Korea, mainland Japan, Okinawa and Guam school districts.

“[Area offices] will conduct only essential operations,” Hoff said. “We still don’t have very specific detail on … who will be showing up to work.”

DODEA’s headquarters in Virginia would also operate with very limited staffing during a government shutdown, Hoff added.

The decision marks the second partial reprieve for schools this year in the face of federal budgetary issues. DODEA teachers were exempted from furloughs applied to other federal workers under the across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration.

Although a government shutdown would affect a wide swath of services, the military and other public safety functions would continue to operate. Agencies with independent funding sources, such as the U.S. Postal Service, would also continue operations.

slavin.erik@stripes.com

Twitter:@eslavin_stripes

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