Emeritus Issue: Minimize school disruption for military children during transition and deployment
Date: 01.24.2013
Source: USA4

The mobile military life creates tough challenges for children who attend, on average, six to nine different school systems from kindergarten to 12th grade. In addition, these children often endure anxiety of parental separation during deployments. To help alleviate some of these concerns, states can participate in the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children (hereafter called the Compact) which provides a vehicle for states to follow common guidelines in handling issues that impact children of military families as they transition between schools (PDF). These issues include class placement, records transfer, immunization requirements, course placement, graduation requirements, exit testing and extra-curricular opportunities, among others.


The Department of Defense, in collaboration with the Council of State Governments' National Center for Interstate Compacts developed the Compact to address the educational transition issues of children of military families. A variety of federal, state and local officials as well as national stakeholder organizations representing education groups and military families were also included in the creation of the proposed interstate agreement. The goal of the Compact is to replace the widely varying treatment of transitioning military students with a comprehensive approach that provides a uniform policy in every school district in every state that chooses to join. The Compact addresses the key issues encountered by military families in four broad categories: eligibility, enrollment, placement and graduation.


The Compact establishes a commission of member states to oversee the implementation of the compact and provide for education, administration, limited rulemaking and enforcement.


Current Status:
All 50 states have approved the Compact. More information is available on state and commission at the Military Interstate Children's Compact Commission website listed below.


Additional Information:
Interstate Compact Overview (DOC) - This article examines what an interstate compact is, what the Compact covers (and does not cover) and how parents can work with schools and school liaison officers to ensure their children receive the full benefits of the Compact.


Military Interstate Children's Compact Commission - The MIC3 website provides a map, background, resources, press and helpful links on the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children.


Military K – 12 Partners - This website provides a military service school liaison officer directory, resource guides, DoDEA grant program information and professional development modules for teachers.


School liaison training documents - These documents facilitate Compact training of school liaison officers by the service representatives or regional school liaisons. The information was developed by the DoD in collaboration with the Military Interstate Children's Compact Commission (the Commission).


Best Practices:
For best practices on minimizing school disruption for military children during transition and deployment, view the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children (PDF).