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Sequestration to affect DOD schools, commissaries

WASHINGTON (AFPS) -- Civilian personnel at Department of Defense Education Activity schools and the Defense Commissary Agency will be affected by sequestration, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said here today.

The department will struggle to ensure DODEA -- which serves 84,000 students at 194 schools -- maintains an accredited school year, Little said.

"We're mindful that we need to protect the education of military children," Little told reporters at the Pentagon. But teachers and support personnel at DODEA schools will be subject to the furlough. DOD civilian personnel will be furloughed one day a week from April through the end of September, unless Congress intervenes.

"We are going to do everything we can to manage the furlough process in a manner that enables military children to receive an accredited school year for this academic year," he said.

Summer school will not be affected by furloughs, Little said, but the first month of the 2014 school year could be.

It's also "likely," he said, that the 247 commissaries worldwide will be forced to close one additional day each week. Commissaries are already closed Mondays.

Commissary workers also will be furloughed, Little said.

"This will cause pain," he said.

Furloughs will cut into commissary workers' paychecks, and for patrons, it means there will be one less day each week to shop at a military commissary. This would not start immediately but would kick in at the same time that furloughs begin -- probably at the end of April.

Sequestration, which also will affect military readiness and operations, is "something we are going to have to manage, while we protect the country," Little said.
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