National Guard Youth Challenge Program

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) reviewed the National Guard Youth Challenge Program and issued its report today. The Challenge Program was established by the National Defense Authorization Act (PL 102-484) in 1992 as a pilot program to use military-based training to help high school dropouts in life skills and employability. The Program was made permanent in 1998. There are now 29 program sites in 24 states (Hawaii has one) and Puerto Rico.

The Department of Defense (DOD) sets overall policy for the Program, and the National Guard Bureau (NGB) manages it. From initially covering 100 percent of the Program's costs, DOD now pays 60 percent of state operating costs, and states pay 40 percent. Since 1993 NGB has used $14,000 per student as a cost basis for funding. NGB now suggests increasing the per student cost to $18,000 and the federal cost share to 75 percent. GAO's position is that there has been little cost analysis of the Program, and without better financial information, DOD cannot justify increased funding.

DEFENSE MANAGEMENT: Actions Are Needed to Improve the Management and Oversight of the National Guard Youth Challenge Program, GAO-06-140.
     Full report (PDF, 904kb, 45p.)
     Highlights (PDF, 72kb, 1p.)

See also: Hawaii National Guard Youth Challenge Academy

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