Support for Non-DoDEA Military-Connected Students
DoDEA also offers programs to support the educational success of students who are not enrolled in DoDEA schools or part of NDSP—the majority of the 1.2 million children of military families. These programs and focus areas are described below.
The mission of the Educational Partnership Program is to champion a world-class education for military children in public schools by supporting military-connected local education agencies. Local education agencies (LEAs) can refer to school districts, school divisions, and counties. Subsequently, in this module the term “school district,” or simply “district,” will be used. DoD shares its expertise, experience, and resources to assist military-connected children in their transitions to different schools, to sharpen the expertise of teachers and administrators in meeting the needs of military-connected children, to educate parents on the school district’s academic requirements, and to provide assistance to school districts on deployment support for military children. To do this, the Partnership Program provides support through grants, training, and resources to school districts, military commands, and School Liaisons. As such, the Partnership Branch Program works collaboratively with the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to ease the transition and support the needs of military-connected students and provide resources to military-connected school districts. The Partnership Branch also works to resolve problems for students transferring from DoDEA schools to school districts.
DoDEA's Educational Partnership Program provides resources to military-connected school districts to enhance student learning in core subjects, transforming the responsiveness of educators to children of military families, improving parent and family engagement, and increasing virtual learning capabilities. Partnership resources have reached over 500 military-connected schools and over 500,000 students, many of whom are children from military families. The primary focus of the grant program is to enhance the education of military children, but all students who attend military-connected schools will benefit from the increased support. The Partnership Branch also is providing special education modules and related face-to-face training to public school educators. For more information, see the Resources section of this module.
Recognizing that successful partnerships are characterized by an exchange of ideas, knowledge, and resources, DoD and ED signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in 2008 to create a formal partnership between the two Departments to support the education of military students. The MOU provides a comprehensive and cohesive structure for collaboration between the two Federal Departments. Through the MOU, the Departments can better collaborate to improve the educational opportunities of military-connected students. Through the MOU, DoDEA and the Services are collaborating with ED to
- improve data collection on military-connected children in public schools;
- address concerns around public school facilities on military installations that need renovation or replacement;
- provide additional grant opportunities for military-connected school districts; and
- advance education policies in support of military-connected children on the National Security Council Military Family Interagency Policy Committee.
Because military-connected children often encounter significant school challenges due to frequent relocations in the course of their family’s service, DoD, working through the Council of State Governments, developed the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children to address issues associated with class placement, records transfer, immunization requirements, course placement, graduation requirements, exit testing, and extracurricular opportunities.
As of April 2011, 36 states have adopted the Interstate Compact and are in the process of implementing its requirements. The Compact reflects input from policy experts and stakeholders from 18 different organizations, including representatives of parents, teachers, school administrators, military families, and Federal, state and local officials. Each state appoints a representative to form a commission that oversees the implementation of the Compact.
DoDEA schools adhere to the Interstate Compact, except where prohibited by Federal law.