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Forum Targets Educational Challenges Of Military Kids

— California public schools are now required to lift educational barriers affecting the children of military families. Hundreds of military and school officials in San Diego County attended a forum on Monday to talk about putting the change into practice.

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Aired 4/27/10

California public schools are now required to lift educational barriers affecting the children of military families. Hundreds of military and school officials in San Diego County attended a forum on Monday to talk about putting the change into practice.

The forum’s theme was “Come Together for Kids: Building Partnerships to Support K-12 Education.” It was hosted by the Navy Region Southwest and Marine Corps Installations West.

Research shows military families move on average about every three years. Their kids can attend up to nine different schools in their lifetime. That results in a lot of bureaucratic roadblocks which can slow the academic progress of military kids. Some are placed in the wrong classes. Others have to retake certain courses.

A law passed earlier this year, called the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children, eases those challenges by waiving certain academic requirements for these kids.

Kirsten Webb is the Navy’s school liaison officer. She says the challenge now is to get all school districts on board.

“It's just about more knowledge,” Webb said. “Knowing that (the agreement) exists, knowing what it means and how to implement it. It is a testament that there are 43 school districts (at the forum). That shows they are ready, able and willing to support.”

Webb says more school officials are paying close attention to the problem because there are more military families in the region.

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