Fort Bragg, N.C. — Federal spending cuts that kick in next month under the so-called sequester could force military schools to shift to a four-day class week.
The military is considering various options to handle the billions in mandated cuts, but teachers at schools on military installations face furloughs in the coming months.
Any change to class schedules would affect 84,000 students on military installations worldwide, including about 5,000 at Fort Bragg.
"It's not fair. I don't understand why our kids have to suffer because we already go through enough," Natalie Loyco-Thompson, whose husband is stationed at Fort Bragg, said Tuesday.
Loyco-Thompson has two children at school on post, and she said the lack of information about the situation is frustrating for families who are used to dealing with uncertainty.
"Everybody is already pointing fingers at everybody else," she said. "I just never thought I'd be sitting on my couch today crying that I'd have to sit here fighting for my kids' education or even thinking about this process."
Department of Defense spokeswoman Commander Leslie Hull-Ryde conceded that teachers at military schools "are not exempt from furloughs" and that schools would close on furlough days.
"The priority remains focused on mitigating the impact of sequestration on our students," Hull-Ryde said, noting that Advanced Placement and end-of-grade exams will be given and summer school classes will be held.
"(The Defense Department's) goal is to preserve the accreditation of its schools and ensure a quality education for all of its students," she said.