From The Washington Post:
The federal sequester requires the Education Department to cut $1.9 billion in aid to the nation’s 15,000 school districts, money used to help educate poor and disabled children from kindergarten through 12th grade. Most districts have already received their federal dollars for the current school year; any impact from sequestration would affect the next school year.
Public education is largely funded by state and local governments; the federal government pays about 10 percent of the costs. Federal dollars are largely concentrated on poor children and those with disabilities, and the amounts are determined according to the number of children in each category in every state.
But two exceptions are schools on Indian reservations and military bases, which receive a larger share of their funds from Washington as compensation for the fact that they cannot raise funds from local property taxes. For example, the federal government pays 60 percent, or $14.7 million, of Window Rock School District’s $24.3 million annual budget.
Don't get me wrong: I understand why Indians, accustomed as they are to getting someone else to pay for their children't schools, don't want to now pay for it themselves. I just don't understand why they can't. Are reservation tribal governments, despite their titular status as separate "nations", prohibited by law from levying property taxes? Are they prohibited from spending their casino wealth on their own schools?
But I need some clarification on the military base schools. As I understand it, the stateside schools and their budgets are controlled by the local public school districts, and have been for some time. The DoD pays the district a per-head subsidy, but non-military children also attend the base schools. (Also as I understand it, these schools tend to be not especially good, reflecting the demographics of the area surrounding the base. But I haven't found the evidence for this that I expected.) The DoD only directly operates schools on bases overseas.
So I assume that these subsidies are now being cut. The local school districts (who had demanded control of the schools in the first place) must now make up the difference (or not). But the base schools are unlikely to go away; their students would still be the district's liability.
Do I have any of this wrong?