How to give military kids a fighting chance at a good education

Students who come from military families experience unique challenges throughout their educational career. These children will transfer an average of six to nine times from the time they start kindergarten until they graduate high school. The frequent moves and the added stress of having a parent deployed to a war zone can be very disruptive to academic progress, especially when students transfer across state lines and find they are either ahead of or behind their new classmates.

A new report released last month from the Lexington Institute looks at how schools and districts serving large military populations are using some form of a Military Student Identifier (MSI) to ensure a high-quality education for military-connected children. The report identifies best practices that can be adopted by others looking to improve how they serve the families of soldiers, sailors, Marines, and airmen and women. There are about 1.2 million children with at least one parent who either serves in the military or is closely connected to the military, such as a U.S. Department of Defense contractor. According to the report, about 200,000 students transition each year to new schools.

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