Issue: Defense Department Civilian with Exceptional Family Member
Scope: Current Defense Department Policy 1315.19 allows DOD civilians an option to bring their family members outside the continental U.S. regardless of gaining installation’s ability to support family member’s special needs. Family members needing care bring undue stress and strain to families and community.
Recommendation: Revise DOD Policy 1315.19 to implement uniform policy for DOD civilian OCONUS assignments to include the option that accompanied tours may be denied if support services are not available for family members.
Issue: Department of Defense Dependents Schools Teacher and Administrator
Scope: Presently faculty, parents, and students do not have input into the formal evaluation process of teacher and administrator performances thus establishing a higher standard of competency of educators and administrators.
Recommendation: Implement 360 degree bi-annual assessment utilizing input from faculty, parents, and students resulting in a more comprehensive performance evaluation.
Issue: DODDS Substitute Teacher Qualifications
Scope: Currently, DODDS substitute teachers minimum requirement is to have a high school diploma or graduate equivalency diploma. Substitute teachers are not required to have any teaching experience or knowledge in the subject matter.
Recommendation: Raise minimal requirement for all DODDS substitute teachers to an associate degree or five years post high school work experience. • Require a substitute to be qualified to fill a vacant position based upon their background and experience. • Long term substitutes (11 school days and longer) should be evaluated quarterly on the same basis as full-time teachers.
Issue: Military Spouse Preference Hiring Policy
Scope: The present policy undermines the MSP benefit due to its “one-time use” hindering the ability for a qualified spouse to acquire gainful, specialized employment in all government positions. Current policy dictates MSP may be used for NAF 1-2 and all GS 1-15 positions.
Recommendation: • Eliminate the “one-time use” rule of MSP benefit permitting a spouse the choice to apply for a non-specialized position without invoking the MSP. • Standardize the use of MSP for GS and NAF positions. Change policy to include NAF 3 and above.
Issue: DOD Banking Regulations
Scope: Current DOD banking regulations are inadequate to support a mobile DOD workforce. With permanent change of stations and temporary duty assignments, service members and civilians are often required to open an additional bank account to gain access to local services. The lack of one DOD affiliated banking system results in wasted time, resources and imposes undue stress.
Recommendation: Revise the DOD banking policy to establish one on-post banking system that supports worldwide banking transactions and unifies capabilities, operations, and fees for eligible DOD ID cardholders.
Issue: Fitness Class Funding
Scope: Department of the Army does not centrally fund specialized Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation fitness classes. Frequent participants often incur fees greater than average cost of gym membership. The impact of not funding these programs results in lower participation, morale and overall wellness.
Recommendation: Allocate funding for Family and MWR specialized fitness programs to ensure greater participation, higher morale and overall wellness for DA families.
Issue: Post 9-11 GI Bill Transferability for Eligible Retirees
Scope: Retirees who have the ability to utilize the Post 9-11 GI Bill cannot transfer benefits to their dependents because they retired between Dec. 11, 2001, and July 31, 2009. Denying retirees this right imposes a burden to the retirees and their dependents which may result in a detrimental financial impact.
Recommendation: Authorize a time period not to exceed two years for the application of transferability to qualified veterans.
Issue: Post 9-11 GI Bill Transfer Limitations Awareness
Scope: Service members are only mandated to attend a benefits briefing at the time of retirement/separation. As a result, they could lose the ability to transfer the GI Bill benefits or incur an extended service obligation prior to separation/retirement.
Recommendation: Inform service members annually of their Post 9-11 GI Bill benefits and of their service obligation through their annual statement of benefits.
Issue: Advanced Placement and Honors standards are not accepted by DODDS globally.
Scope: AP is not currently available for freshman, putting them at a disadvantage compared to students outside of DODDS. Honors classes are not weighted as they are in non-DODDS schools. Honors Literature and History 9 and 10 are currently integrated.
Recommendation: As a freshman, an aptitude test will be provided before acceptance into an AP class, unless all requirements for the class are previously met. • Classes that are currently integrated need to be separated to meet the needs of each student’s strengths and weaknesses. • DODDS needs to recognize the practice of weighting honors classes for calculating grade point average, ensuring all DODDS students remain competitive during college admissions.
Issue: Quality of Nutritional options in the Community
Scope: There are not enough quality and nutritional options available to students during a 40 minute lunch period. Because of limited time, students make quick, unhealthy food choices in order to make it back to school on time. In the school cafeteria, lunches are not appealing enough to wait in a long line to buy. The rushed environment is stressful to students who need time to relax.
Recommendation: Put in an extensive salad/soup bar in close proximity to the school. Pre-made sandwiches can also be at this location. • A salad bar cart located at the schools would reduce stress during the lunch period because of the easy access. • At the commissary, open a student-only portable sandwich bar, and a student-only check-out line to reduce time spent getting lunch.
Issue: Student Travel for College Youth Attending Universities Outside the Continental U.S.
Scope: Each service has its own specific guidance to pay for travel annually for college youth with parents stationed overseas. Some communities interpret the regulation differently.
Recommendation: Standardize travel to accredited college and universities. • Provide a list of accredited schools. • Develop a joint regulation to eliminate any interpretations. • Publicize the university travel program to juniors and seniors.