Transferring Between Schools Becomes Easier for Students of Military Families

March 23, 2011

CHARLESTON W.Va. – The West Virginia Board of Education (WVBOE) and other members of the Common Ground: Education and Military Partnership joined acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin on Wednesday as he signed into law House Bill 2550 making West Virginia the 36th member of the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children.

“Our military members make many sacrifices for the freedoms we enjoy. Their children's education shouldn't be one of them,” said acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin. “This bill will give military families the flexibility they need to support their children so they can receive a quality education no matter where service may take the family.”

The compact is designed to ease the transition of students into new schools as their parents are transferred from location to location around the country.

“Sometimes as students move around they face problems transferring school records and credits,” said state Board of Education President Priscilla Haden. “The Common Ground Partnership applauds lawmakers for supporting this important piece of legislation.”

The Common Ground Partnership is dedicated to ensuring every military child’s right to a quality education regardless of location or how often the family moves.  Students of military families will receive increased supports from the Common Ground Partnership developed with the Department of Defense Joint Services, West Virginia Wing Civil Air Patrol, Operation Military Kids, the West Virginia Congress of Parents and Teachers, Inc., the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) and the WVBOE.

The Interstate Compact applies to the children of active duty members of the uniformed services, including members of the National Guard and Reserve on active duty orders; members or veterans of the uniformed services who are severely injured and medically discharged or retired for a period of one year after medical discharge or retirement; and members of the uniformed services who die on active duty for a period of one year after death.

House Bill 2550 also establishes the West Virginia Commission for Educational Opportunities for Military Children. The Commission is authorized to address future interstate problems and issues as they arise; to create and enforce rules governing the compact’s operation; and to promote training and compliance with the compact’s requirements.

“It is unfortunate that sometimes students from military families are forced to repeat a class or aren’t allowed to graduate because they transferred to a new school,” said West Virginia Parent Teacher Association Vice President Kathy Parker. “Children of military families should not be punished for the choice their parents made to serve our country.”

For more information about the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children or the Common Ground: Education and Military Partnership contact the WVDE Communications Office at 304-558-2699.

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