Though a great deal of progress has been made over the past several years to help military families address their educational concerns, many issues still remain that need state cooperation. To address these transition issues, the Department of Defense, Council of State Governments, and organizations concerned with military children's education created the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children.
Designed to enable cooperation between states, this important Compact allows for the uniform treatment of military children transferring between school districts and states. It recognizes that no matter how supportive states are of military children, they can only control what happens within their individual borders. By uniting with other states in the Compact, each state can help ensure that military children have the educational opportunities they deserve, even when they move to another state.
Specific issues addressed in the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children are:
- Timely transfer of records.
- Kindergarten and first grade entrance age variances.
- Adequate time to complete immunization requirements.
- Exclusion from extracurricular activities.
- Placement in appropriate courses.
- Missed or redundant entrance and exit testing.
- Graduation requirements.
- Support for children of deployed service members.
With 45 states now members of the Compact, over 95 percent of our school-aged military children are covered by this important legislation. This is tremendous news for military families!
The National Military Family Association is proud of the work we have done alongside the Department of Defense, policy makers, and stake holders to ensure the successful passage of the Compact. As a member of both the Advisory Group and Drafting Team who helped develop the Compact, we firmly believe it will significantly lessen many of the challenges military children and their families face when moving. As an Ex-Officio member of the Interstate Compact Commission, our Association is helping create informational materials for military families, leaders, and educators to understand what the Compact does and doesn’t cover, how to use it effectively, and who to contact in their state for assistance. To access this information, visit the Interstate Compact Commission website at www.mic3.net.
Military families should know that our Association is committed to:
- Safeguarding the integrity of the Compact as it is implemented within member states.
- Continuing to work to ensure its passage in all 50 States and the District of Columbia.
- Keeping military families updated on state implementation.
- Educating military families, leaders, and educators on the Compact.
- Working with states to push the information down to the local level.
- Helping families use the Compact to ensure smoother transitions for their children.
We encourage military families to let us know how the Compact has helped make your son or daughter’s transition easier or if it is currently not being implemented in your local school district. Please contact us at Info@militaryfamily.org.
Our Association has long believed that parents are their children’s best advocates if given the proper resources and information. To that end, we encourage you to visit the Interstate Compact Commission website. Knowing which states have adopted the Compact, what specific issues are addressed, and how to use the Compact effectively, will make you a better advocate for your children.
If you transfer to a member state whose local school district is not following the rules of the Compact, we suggest you contact your local School Liaison Officer to assist you.
If you transfer to a state that is not a member of the Compact, you can educate your local officials and commander on its importance to our military families.
With your help, we can push the Compact up as states are pushing it down, thus making it a viable reality for our military children.
Until military families are relieved of the weight of war, we hope you will continue to contribute to their wellbeing.
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