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Easier PCSing ahead for high school students

The transition for military students moving from school to school just got a little easier.

As part of the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children, 43 states are now pledging to ease school transitions.

The Defense Department, in collaboration with the Council of State Governments’ National Center for Interstate Compacts, developed the interstate compact in 2007 with the goal of easing military families’ myriad challenges as they transition between school systems.

Whether it’s graduation requirements, gifted and talented program testing eligibility, or immunization records, the coalition is designed to help ease the burden that military families often face when moving from one installation to the next.

BG (Ret.) Norman Arflack is the executive director of the MIC3.

“With the signing of the 43rd state, we now represent 96% of the military student population,” he said. “Our goal is to be a voice for the military families so they don’t need to feel alone.”

Arflack said the signatures from the 43 states means that they have pledged a commitment to military families.

“These 43 states have enacted legislation for the school systems within those states to ensure that military children will not be disadvantaged,” he said. “This means as far as credits transferring, graduation requirements, and other areas, that the schools will take a look at things and help out our military children and families when needed.”

The coalition authored the legislation along with the DOD. Both work collaboratively to recruit a representative from each state to enact the legislation.

“We provide the legislation and each state enacts it,” Arflack said. “Our goal is to eventually have all 50 states on board and to keep working together to help out our military families.”

An example of the legislation’s workings can be seen in the transferring of high school credits.

“Let’s say a high school student needs a Kentucky history course to graduate high school, “Arflack said. “If that student takes that course, but then PCSs to Virginia their senior year, we don’t want them to have to take a Virginia history course in order to graduate. The legislation says that one state history course meets the graduation requirement if you are a military child.”

Army spouse Molly McQueen is glad to hear about the coalition. Her 17-year old son, Tanner, is about to begin his senior year of high school in Virginia and it will be the third school he has attended in four years.

“So far we have been lucky that everything has transferred, but it is good to know that there is a place to go in case we have a problem,” she said.

Arflack said the coalition continues to work with the states to mitigate issues and to get the word out through the schools to military families.

“Our intent is not to create a special class of military children,” he said. “Our intent is to see that those children are not disadvantaged because their parents have chosen to serve in the armed forces.”

For more information about the coalition or to find your state liaison, visit the website at

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