In response to poor performance ratings for Montgomery, Ala., schools, the Air University at Maxwell AFB last month formed a working group aimed at improving education options for military families at the installation. The group is looking at ways to increase attendance at the on-base school, streamline the application process for Montgomery’s magnet schools, expand school choice options for military families and establish local charter schools, reports the Montgomery Advertiser. About 56 percent of the airmen in last year’s Air War College stayed in Montgomery without their families, Lt. Gen. Anthony Cotton, commander and president of Air University, said at a recent education summit. The quality of local schools also harms Cotton’s ability to recruit faculty and staff, and economic development throughout the River Region.
The group will consider the overriding concerns of the military community and reach out to local school officials, said Kent Davis, director of communication and outreach at Air University. The group attended a strategy meeting with the superintendent of Montgomery Public Schools and now is working to host an education summit in January to bring together all of the region’s school systems. It is led by Christina Karvwnaris, chief of academic outreach for the Air University’s Curtis LeMay Center, and includes military and civilian faculty and staff, chamber of commerce members and a military spouse representative.
“This is a long-term process,” Davis said. “We are taking baby steps right now but we are serious that this is an issue that will be at the forefront. We are here to help, not to just be critics.”
Air Force photo by Wesley Farnsworth