HomeNewsArticle Display

Why does my kid’s school need to know we are military?

Every year my kid’s school asks me – multiple times – if we are military. It doesn’t matter where we live, they always want to know … during registration, enrollment, and mid-semester! Why do they care? Why does it matter? Should I tell them? For the longest time, I answered “No,” because I figured it was none of their business. It turns out I was WRONG! There are at least three reasons why schools ask for military affiliation.

First, teachers want to know. Most are genuinely concerned about their students. They want to understand the children, so they can support them better. Military students are considered “highly mobile,” meaning they move every few years. According to the Department of Defense Education Activity, “The average military family will move six to nine times during a school career. That’s…three times more frequently than non-military families.” Teachers who know some of their students in their class are military kids can help ease their transition into the new school.

Second is money. President Truman established the Federal Impact Aid program in 1950 to reimburse school districts for the lost revenue and additional costs associated with nontaxable Federal properties, like a base or a VA facility. According to the National Association of Federally Impacted Schools, most public school districts are funded primarily through local taxes and fees. When you live in military housing, shop at the Exchange, or fill up your gas tank on base, you aren’t paying local taxes or fees, reducing funding for the community’s schools. The Federal Impact Aid program offsets this lost revenue, but school districts can only apply if enough families disclose their military affiliation, each fall.

Third is the Military Student Identifier. The Federal Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 established the MSI. The ESSA sought to improve academic achievement for vulnerable sub-populations. Military children are included because of their frequent moves. Most military families have their own tale of how PCSing has disrupted their children’s learning. Your child started studying French? Great, except the new school only offers Spanish. Your child excels in math? Congratulations, but the new school does not offer accelerated math courses for their grade level. Your child struggles with a learning disability and you finally have a good support system in place? Get ready to start all over again, because you are moving to a new state with different policies and a new school with different programs.

Frequent moves can also present military children with emotional challenges. How often has your child been the “new kid”? Sometimes little things, like finding kids to eat lunch with, can be an issue. Some military children thrive on being the “new student”, but others struggle with it. The MSI may sound abstract, but it can help monitor the performance of military students as a group, without identifying them individually. When problems or trends appear for “MSI students,” schools or the installation can establish programs designed just for military kids. But this is only possible if enough military families disclose their military affiliation.

Disclosing your military affiliation to your children’s school will not solve all of your family’s educational challenges, but it will help. The school and teachers will know more about their students and be better prepared to address their needs. Additional money will be available from Federal Impact Aid to help local schools support your children’s education. Finally, more accurate implementation of the MSI will help identify and address challenges faced specifically by military students. So, next time your children’s school asks “Are you affiliated with the military?” respond “Yes, I am!” every time.

Lt. Col. Karvwnaris is the lead action officer for the K-12 Public Education Working Group at Air University. The working group focuses on improving options for military-affiliated children in the region surrounding Maxwell Air Force Base and Gunter Annex, Alabama. The working group has found success in engaging local school districts and expanding options for military-affiliated children.

Engage

Twitter
“I can help [#Airmen] and prepare them for the challenges they’ll face as NCO’s; everything I’ve encountered has pr… https://t.co/YT3x1UjGFU
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: A/SecAF Roth is speaking now on the future capabilities the Department requires to protect the Nation--including the Gro…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee for Defense is asking A/SecAF Roth about investments to modernize the @USAirForce
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Acting Secretary of the Air Force John Roth’s comments today while addressing the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subc…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Acting Secretary of the Air Force John Roth’s comments today while addressing the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subc…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Acting Secretary of the Air Force John Roth’s comments today while addressing the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subc…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Acting Secretary of the Air Force John Roth’s comments today while addressing the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subc…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Acting Secretary of the Air Force John Roth’s comments today while addressing the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subc…
Twitter
RT @Travis60AMW: An honor to host Ambassador Islam and show our aerial port in real time as #TeamTravis palletized and loaded critical supp…
Twitter
“We’re much stronger when partnering and working together. It’s a partnership and alliance that we need to continue… https://t.co/y7JxcTPlhK
Twitter
.@124FighterWing Tactical Air Control Party #Airmen participated in a field training exercise in Prairie, Idaho. Th… https://t.co/Eg9z61IICI
Twitter
24 students were selected for the inaugural #AimHigh Flight Academy hosted by @usaf_inspire. They will immerse into… https://t.co/2r4OuyxHRW
Twitter
RT @HQ_AFMC: With summer 🌞setting us up for great weather for outdoor activities, it's time to lace up those 👟and get ready to run! Check…
Twitter
“The relationship between the Senegalese and U.S. #AirForce is important in different ways, but especially the U.S.… https://t.co/JH5ZtD6Jwd
Twitter
RT @DeptofDefense: This is what partnership looks like 🤝 Hear @usairforce combat aviation advisors and their Kenya Air Force, @kdfinfo, pa…
Twitter
RT @HQUSAFEAFAF: 🚨🚨🚨#BTF News🚨🚨🚨 #B52 aircraft integrated with fighters from #Spain and #Portugal this week during a #BomberTaskForce miss…
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: .@185ARW KC-135 aircrew refuel @48FighterWing F-15 Strike Eagle aircraft off the coast of Scotland during #FormidableShie
Twitter
“When I learned @Harvard offered a graduate-level Nuclear Deterrence Certificate and @AFGlobalStrike would pay for… https://t.co/X34oXHJwC9
Twitter
“We are working to modernize Joint Mission Planning System with a service-oriented architecture that will increase… https://t.co/z3NEpSrRC1
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,347,239
Follow Us