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Taskforce Wants Military Kids To Stay On Track

San Diego County education and military leaders want to make it easier for military kids to transfer schools when mom or dad is reassigned. KPBS Reporter Ana Tintocalis has the details.

Taskforce Wants Military Kids To Stay On Track

San Diego County education and military leaders want to make it easier for military kids to transfer schools when mom or dad is reassigned. KPBS Reporter Ana Tintocalis has the details.
 

Research shows so-called “military brats” move six to nine times in their school years.
 

Parents say that's a problem. They say records get lost, course credit doesn't count, kids are placed in wrong classes, and some teens don't graduate on time.
 

A state taskforce of military and local education officials is tackling the issue.
 

Kirsten Webb is a military mom and teacher. She says creating a state taskforce long overdue. Webb says its hard making sure military kids get a decent education. 

Webb: I'm an educator, I know the system, and it was difficult for me. So the typical military family who doesn't know the system is fighting this daily. They don't know where to turn. They don't know what path to take.
 

San Diego County is a hub for military families because of its Navy and Marine installations. In fact, the San Diego Unified School District has the second largest population of military kids in the country.
 

Many newcomers say they feel at home here except when they have to navigate local school systems.
 

San Diego Unified's Arun Ramanathan acknowledges bureaucratic roadblocks are to blame. 

Ramanathan: There are things as a district we can do better, just internally, for military students. But there are other things we are supposed to do under state law that prevent us from addressing the issues that rise.
 

Taskforce members want California to join others states that have adopted a uniform, streamlined approach to transfer military students . But first they have to get legislative approval.
 

The Department of Defense is helping the taskforce develop a plan. Officials say military parents are more likely to stay in the service if their kids experience easy transitions.
 

Ana Tintocalis, KPBS News.