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DEFENSE COMMUNITIES 360

No Military Child Left Behind is Aim of Interstate Schools Pact

  • August 9, 2011
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With 39 states on board, the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children has made striking improvements in a school transition process previously marked by the frustration it caused military parents and their children.

The compact, developed in 2006, seeks to make the transition between school districts and states easier for the children of military families so that they are afforded the same opportunities for success as other children and are not penalized or delayed in achieving their educational goals. It addresses an array of issues, including class placement, records transfer, immunization requirements, course placement, graduation requirements, exit testing and extracurricular opportunities.

Once Vermont became the 39th state to adopt the compact in May, nearly 90 percent of military children were covered by the document’s guidelines.

“In many cases, many parents have felt there are roadblocks — unintentional roadblocks — but roadblocks put in the way of their children,” Ed Kringer, director of state liaison and educational opportunity for DOD’s office of military community and family policy, told American Forces Press Service.

The compact is making students’ lives easier in a variety of areas, he said. It addresses an ongoing concern regarding lengthy delays students are forced to endure waiting for their school records to be shipped. The compact requires schools to transfer records within 10 days.

The compact also helps students in honors programs. It requires schools to presume transferring students are qualified if they previously were in an honors program, eliminating the need to wait for their previous school to verify they are qualified, according to the press service story.

Similarly, the compact waives many deadlines for transferring students to try out for extracurricular activities, increasing the chances that they don’t have to sit out a year for their chosen activity.

Pentagon officials continue to strive to reach the goal of having all 50 states enact the compact, Kringer said.

For more information on the compact, visit the DOD Education Activity website.

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