The following letter from the Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission, of which Maine is a member state, shares useful information about the unique needs of students in military families.
Dear School Administrators and Counselors, School Liaison Officers and Military Families:
November 2011 has been designated as the Month of the Military Family. Military Family Month was first designated by the Armed Services YMCA in 1993 and soon after recognized by the White House. The Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission honors all military families and thanks them for their tireless contributions in service of our nation.
Our country currently has thousands of service members deployed across the globe. As they serve, so do their families — and often with great sacrifice. The role they play is very important. They do it unselfishly even when they know that they may not see their loved ones for months at a time. Our military families do these things time and again with strength and grace. The example they set should be acknowledged, revered and respected.
Military families move between postings on a regular basis, and while reassignments can often be a boon for career personnel, they can be difficult for the children of military families. The average military student faces transition challenges more than twice during high school and most military children will attend six to nine different school systems in their lives from kindergarten to 12th grade. The Compact therefore seeks to make transition easier for the children of military families so that they are afforded the same opportunities for educational success as other children and are not penalized or delayed in achieving their educational goals.
As part of the Interstate Compact, the Interstate Commission on Educational Opportunities for Military Children was established (also referred to as the Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission, or MIC3). Thirty-nine states have adopted the Interstate Compact and placed it in statute. The Department of Defense continues to work with the Commission, Council of State Governments, national organizations, and state leaders to bring the remaining states on board. Member states are forming their state councils and inform school districts of the terms of the Interstate Compact.
Please take time this month to recognize the service of our military servicemen and women, their families and their children.
Mark D. Needham
MIC3 Commissioner – Kentucky