Easing Transitions for Military Children
With another school year set to begin, military families need to know they possess an important tool in their backpack. With 39 states now members of the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children, over 90 percent of our school-aged military children are covered by this legislation. Designed to enable cooperation between states, the Compact addresses many of the transition issues affecting military children:
- 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
Our 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 has helped 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, families should visit our website at www.militaryfamily.org/get-info/support-children/education/interstate-compact.html or the Interstate Compact Commission website at www.mic3.net.
Our Association has long believed that parents are their children’s best advocates if given the proper resources and information. 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.
We also encourage 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.
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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