THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
Marybeth Hunter is the educa-
tion and youth officer in the
State Department’s Family
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.
How is “at post” education allow-
ance for the school year determined? Why
is the “at post” allowance for many posts
listed as $150?
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
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).
Which government employees
are eligible for an education allowance?
Do all agencies follow the Department of
State education allowance regulations?
: 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