This resource shows you specific steps to take to resolve school issues for your child, using the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children. It gives you contact information for people who can help you for different situations covered by the Compact. To help you decide if your child’s situation is covered by the Compact, use School Issues Covered by the Interstate Compact (separate blog post) with this Checklist.
The Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children (“the Compact”) is an agreement among all 50 States and the District of Columbia to address certain school transition issues for military children consistently, from State to State.
Your child is covered under the Compact if he or she is a school-aged child enrolled in kindergarten through 12th grade, when their parent is a:
- Active duty member of the uniformed services, including members of the National Guard and Reserve on active duty orders (Title 10)
- Member or veteran who are medically discharged or retired for one year
- Member who died on active duty, for a period of one year after death
- Uniformed member of the Commissioned Corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and United States Public Health Services (USPHS)
What the Compact helps with:
- Transferring school records and getting your child enrolled; Immunizations
- Kindergarten and First Grade starting ages
- Special Education, Accommodations and Modifications
- Having to repeat courses; Getting the right program or course placement
- Graduation requirements
- Extra-curricular activities such as being in a club or playing sports
- Your child is or will be living with another family member or guardian (Family Care Plan)
- Provide the basic document package PLUS any extra records listed under a specific issue – hand-carry to the receiving school
- Understand what the Compact does and doesn’t do (https://www.mic3.net/publications.html)
- Know who to contact for help (see “Who to ask for help, below)
Basic documents package:
- Official military orders
- Family care plan or proof of guardianship if the child lives with a legal guardian
- Shot record (immunizations)
- Letter or transcript from the sending school showing attendance, academic information and grade placement
- Birth certificate
Keep paper copies of all educational records from each school. If your child has an Individualized Education Program (IEP), or a Section 504 or ADA Title II plan, keep paper copies of the plan or program, service agreements, evaluations and progress reports. Keep records from non-school sources too.
Step-by-Step Suggestions for Using the Compact:
If an issue comes up, a first step may be to try to resolve it at the school level. You might wish to do this on your own, or you can ask for help from your Parent Center (special education, supports and services, Section 504 or ADA Title II Plan) or School Liaison. (See links below)
Steps you can take:
- Contact your child’s school principal or other top-level school administrator
- Keep a written record of what happens. To have a record, either contact by email, or if you speak to them in person or by phone, send a follow-up email or letter (keep a copy of the letter).
- When you get a response, keep the response email or letter.
- Keep all emails or letters about this issue in the folder or binder where you keep all your child’s school records and information.
You can usually find email information on your child’s school or district website, or you can call the school’s front office.
What you might put in the letter or email:
- Describe the issue
- State that your child is covered by the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children
- Describe what you have already done (provided documents, called the school, etc.)
- Ask the school to resolve the issue
- Ask for a response by email or by letter
- You may wish to include, or attach:
- A copy of or link to the Compact rules document: https://www.mic3.net/assets/mic3commissionrules-final-amendednov2012.pdf
- Copies of your child’s basic document package and any additional information needed (see “School Issues” handout)
Next steps and who to ask for help:
If the issue is not fixed by the school’s principal or top administrator, contact either your School Liaison or Parent Center (depending on the issue) for help. They are familiar with the process and can connect with the most useful staff to resolve your child’s situation.
For most issues, contact your School Liaison: https://www.dodea.edu/Partnership/schoolLiaisonOfficers.cfm
School Liaisons connect students and families with information, resources and people. They are the point of contact between an installation’s military families and local schools and school districts. They are experts in the complications that can come up when a family PCS-s to a new duty station.
For Special Education, Accommodations and Modifications, contact your Parent Center (can also be helpful for Program and Course Placement): http://www.parentcenterhub.org/find-your-center/-lists of Parent Centers by state
Parent Centers are federally-funded organizations in each State, District of Columbia, and US Territories. They work with families of infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities, birth to 26. They will work with you, so you can resolve issues relating to your child’s disabilities. Parent Centers can help you whether your child attends a public school or a Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) school.