U.S. military proposes plan to help school transitions

Filed under: Day Care & Education

Growing up, I lived in the same house in the same city and went to school with the same people from kindergarten to high school graduation. Because the schools were lined up next to each other, I didn't even have to worry about changing the path on which I rode my bike. It was stable, if a little boring.

Kids of military personnel face the opposite problem. With an average of six to nine moves during their educational careers, military brats face significant logistical challenges. Requirements vary based on state, county and district regulations. Navigating the red tape can leave kids stuck repeating classes they don't need in order to check off a box. One teenager who moved from California to Maryland during high school got stuck taking badminton and repeating state history courses instead of the advanced placement science and math classes he'd hoped for, simply because of graduation requirements.

A new proposal from the Pentagon aims to reduce these complications. States are being asked to adopt practices that would smooth the process for families, such as accepting temporary transcripts until permanent records are transferred, giving a grace period for updating immunizations, and minimizing the repetition of state-specific history courses and exit exams.

This isn't just about the U.S. military being nice: the challenges of uprooting families are one of the big reasons member of the armed forces leave active duty. Keep the kids happy, and you just might keep their parents enlisted.

The agreement will take effect after 10 states approve it, and at least 24 state legislatures currently are considering some version of the proposal.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.