Because military families are often expected to live abroad in areas where quality schools may be difficult to find, the Department of Defense (DoD) is required to provide the opportunity for military dependents to get a quality education. That’s where DoDEA schools come into play.

What Is a DoDEA School?

The Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) is one of only two federally-operated school systems. They are responsible for planning, directing, coordinating, and managing prekindergarten through 12th grade educational programs on behalf of the United States Department of Defense (DoD).

To attend a Department of Defense Education Activity school in the contiguous United States, a student’s parent or guardian must: 1) be a full-time, active-duty servicemember or full-time Department of Defense civilian employee; and 2) reside in permanent on-base housing at an installation where DoDEA operates schools.

NDAA Pilot Program Expands Enrollment

Congress recently authorized a pilot program through the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would expand that eligibility at four pilot sites, allowing for the children of full-time, active-duty military who reside off the military installation to attend a DoDEA brick-and-mortar school, provided space is available.

The four pilot sites are:

  1. Camp Lejeune, NC
  2. Dahlgren, VA
  3. Fort Jackson, SC
  4. Maxwell AFB, AL

The purposes of the NDAA pilot program are to evaluate the feasibility and advisability of expanding enrollment in DoDEA schools and to determine how increased access to such schools will affect military and family readiness. Only students who are dependents of a full-time, active-duty servicemember with assignment orders to the selected pilot installation are eligible for enrollment.

How to Enroll

Visit DoDEA’s program information pages for enrollment instructions and timelines:

Camp Lejeune | Dahlgren | Fort Jackson | Maxwell AFB

For more information, visit your local School Liaison.

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