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The Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children


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Each April, all branches of military service recognize the contribution that the military child makes as their parents and guardians serve our nation by celebrating the Month of the Military Child.

Military families face unique challenges. The average military student will attend six to nine different school systems in their lives from kindergarten to 12th grade graduation. The Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children (Compact) addresses the inequities facing schoolchildren of military parents when they are required to relocate across state lines. Forty-five states have joined the Compact since 2008.

What Is the Compact?

The Interstate Compact provides for the uniform treatment of military children transferring between school districts and states. Developed by The Council of State Governments' National Center for Interstate Compacts, the Department of Defense, national associations, federal and state officials, departments of education, school administrators and military families.

What Children Are Eligible for Assistance Under the Compact?

Children of:

  • Active duty members of the uniformed services, National Guard and Reserve on active duty orders
  • Members or veterans who are medically discharged or retired for one year
  • Members who die on active duty

What Children Are Not Eligible for Assistance Under the Compact?

Children of:

  • Inactive members of the National Guard and Reserves
  • Members now retired not covered above
  • Veterans not covered above
  • Dept of Defense personnel, federal agency civilians and contract employees not defined as active duty

What Are Some of the Specific Educational Issues that the Compact Covers?

  • Enrollment
  • Educational Records
  • Immunizations
  • Kindergarten & First
    Grade Entrance Age
  • Placement & Attendance
  • Course & Educational
    Program Placement
  • Special Education Services
  • Placement Flexibility
  • Absence Related to
    Deployment Activities

How Does a State Join the Compact?

Each state must adopt the Compact through their legislative process. Participation is voluntary.

What Happens After a State Joins the Compact?

Each state appoints representation to a governing commission responsible for enacting rules to implement the Compact. Each participating state also creates a state council based on the requirements of their state legislation.