RD62 - 2020 Executive Summary of the Interim Activity and Work of the Virginia Council on the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children – December 2020
The Virginia Council on the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children (Virginia Council) was created in 2009 to consider any and all matters related to the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children. The Compact seeks to remove barriers to educational success imposed on children of military families because of frequent moves and deployment of their parents. The Compact addresses such issues as timely enrollment and placement, on-time graduation, and sharing of information between states to ensure a smooth educational transition for dependents of military families as they move from and to other states.
Virginia is home to some of the nation’s largest and most important military installations, so it is not surprising that the Commonwealth's schools educate more military children than most states. As of December 17, 2020, the United States Defense Manpower Data Center estimated that there are 69,038 school age military-associated children of active duty members ranging in age from 5 to 18 residing in Virginia. According to this data, Virginia is home to nearly 10,000 more children than Texas, the next highest state. According to the Virginia Department of Education’s (VDOE’s) 2019-2020 Fall military identifier count, public schools in Virginia serve over 80,000 military-connected students. These are students whose parents serve on active duty in the United States Armed Forces, United States Reserve Forces, or in the Virginia National Guard.
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 from kindergarten to twelfth grade. The Compact seeks to make transitions 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.
The continued focus for the Virginia Council in 2020 was identifying the needs of key stakeholders and working to ease the needs of military-connected children in our schools.
The Council received feedback during all meetings held. This feedback enabled the Council and the VDOE to better prepare initiatives that will ultimately support professionals and agencies dedicated to easing the transitional challenges of military-connected children across the Commonwealth.
This executive summary provides an overview of the work of the Council in 2020.