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74

JUNE 2017

|

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL

EDUCATION SUPPLEMENT

Marybeth Hunter is the educa-

tion and youth officer in the

State Department’s Family

Liaison Office.

M

any Foreign

Service

parents spend

an enormous

amount of

time deter-

mining which

posts have the

best schools for their children. These are

delicate decisions that have a large impact

on family life. We hope this article will

help inform families about school options,

as well as the rules and regulations that

govern the particulars of both school

selection and cost reimbursement.

Parents serving overseas may be eli-

gible to receive an education allowance

to help cover the cost of their children’s

education. The education allowance is

designed to assist in defraying educa-

an education allowance under the

Department of State Standardized Regu-

lations, Section 270. All federal govern-

ment agencies follow these regulations,

although each agency may have its own

supplemental regulations that further

clarify or restrict the allowance.

FLO:

How is “at post” education allow-

ance for the school year determined? Why

is the “at post” allowance for many posts

listed as $150?

ALLOWANCES:

The Office of Over-

seas Schools (OS), one of our sister

offices in the Bureau of Administration,

first determines if there is at least one

school at post that offers education

reasonably comparable to U.S. public

schools. If so, OS will designate the least

expensive adequate school as the base

school. Usually, this base school is a

private school.

Then, Allowances establishes an “at

post” education allowance rate, deter-

tion costs at post that would normally be

provided free of charge by public schools

in the United States.

Think about what is normally pro-

vided in a public school in America, and

this will give you a reasonably accurate

idea of what you can expect to have

reimbursed under the education allow-

ance. Tuition and books, yes. Afterschool

activities or band instruments, no.

To understand a bit more about

education allowances, and to find out

about recent allowance updates, the

Family Liaison Office spoke with the

Department of State’s Office of Allow-

ances (referred to as “Allowances” for the

purpose of this article).

FLO:

Which government employees

are eligible for an education allowance?

Do all agencies follow the Department of

State education allowance regulations?

ALLOWANCES

: Any U.S. direct-hire

employee serving overseas with school-

aged children may be eligible to receive

An understanding of education allowances is crucial for

Foreign Service families. Here is an introduction.

BY MARYBETH HUNTER

Facts and Updates:

Making Sense of the Department

of State Education Allowance

Continued on page 78