The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires States to report on the academic progress of military-connected students and other important data that will tell military parents, advocates for military children, and Parent Centers who serve military families how well these highly-mobile students are doing in school. Read on for expected outcomes, links to articles on the topic, and the key excerpt from ESSA.
JAG stands for Judge Advocate General, and the JAG Corps (sometimes just known as JAG) is the legal branch of the military. Officers in the JAG work as legal advisors to a specific command, but their services are also available to individual service members and their families. When a military family has a child with special educational or medical needs, the JAG officer can be an invaluable resource. Families can be advised on their legal rights with respect to their child’s education (including differences between public and Department of Defense schools), legal preparation for deployment, Supplemental Social Security (SSI) and estate planning.
In case you haven’t seen it: The Office of Community Support for Military Families with Special Needs (OSN) and the Department of Defense Education Activity share what their offices do, and how they support your work with military families. It is a great introduction to key military programs, and helpful whether you are new to your Parent Center, new to working with military families, or are a seasoned professional. Continue reading “Webinar: What the Office of Community Support for Military Families with Special Needs (OSN) and Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) do for Military Families”
Interstate Compact Military Presentation by Rick Masters, General Counsel for MIC3, the Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission. Includes Question and Answer session about this important legal protection for military-connected children in public schools K-12. Includes a handout for military parents.
Another resources which has been recommended by several Parent Centers is available through The Autism National Committee (Autcom.org): How Safe is the Schoolhouse? (external link)
Federally funded Parent Training and Information Centers (PTIs) are found in every State, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Large States have more than one PTI. In addition, thirty federally funded Community Parent Resource Centers (CPRCs) focus on unserved or underserved populations throughout the United States and territories. Together, the PTIs and CPRCs (collectively referred to as Parent Centers) can play a vital role in supporting your work with Exceptional Family Members in your communities. The following information is a quick fact sheet on what a federally funded Parent Center is required to do through their grants and some suggestions on how you can utilize them effectively.
The Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunities for Military Children was created to provide a smooth transition for military children as their families relocate from installation to installation. “While the Compact is not exhaustive in its coverage, it does address the key issues encountered by military families: eligibility, enrollment, placement and graduation” (NCSL, 2014). The Compact has been created with the hope that students will not lose academic time in transition, obtain an appropriate placement, and be able to graduate on time. Currently, all 50 states and District of Columbia participate in the Compact. Continue reading “Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunities for Military Children”
Prior to June 2015, DoDEA schools operated under IDEA 1997 in providing EIS and Special Education services. In June 2015 Department of Defense issued a new directive and a manual with regulations based on the provisions of IDEA 2004. While this change should eliminate many of the differences between public schools and DoDEA schools with regard to Special Education, some DoDEA schools may not have fully implemented the changes.
Can military families now expect the same interpretation of IDEA whether their children receive services through State and public schools or Department of Defense? It’s early to tell, but there will (probably) still be differences in how public schools/States and DoD interpret and implement the IDEA.
The EFMP (or similar name depending on military branch of service) is a program of the armed services that helps military dependents with special needs. Staff in the EFMP identify and enroll family members with special health or educational needs, and assist families with identifying and accessing appropriate services, including when changing assignments or duty stations.
What Parent Centers Need to Know to Help Military Families
School Liaison Officers (SLOs) are the point of contact on an installation for all things school-related, and assist families whose children’s education may be affected by military life. They can be a great resource for Parent Centers!