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School Districts Rejoice as Two Bases Spared Closing

By Christina A. Samuels — August 30, 2005 1 min read
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A federal commission voted last week to spare two military facilities in New England that the Pentagon had recommended closing, a move that relieved local school officials who would have faced a loss of students and federal impact aid had the bases closed.

“We’re all very pleased with the decision and the vote,” said James E. Mitchell, the superintendent of the 5,700-student Groton, Conn., district. The Aug. 24 decision came on the district’s first day of school, and high school students cheered when they heard the news, he said.

The district faced the loss of some 2,000 students had the Naval Submarine Base New London closed and its military families been relocated. (“Schools Worry Over Military Base Closings,” May 25, 2005)

The Base Realignment and Closure Commission also recommended leaving open the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine. The Department of Defense had suggested closing or realigning 62 military installations. The commission must submit its final report to President Bush by Sept. 8. The president can either accept the list or send it back for revision, before forwarding it to Congress, which must either accept or reject the recommendations in full.

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