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
Lt. Col. John “Karl” Marks, an @USAFReserve pilot, made history as the only pilot to reach 7,000 hours in the A-10C… https://t.co/qY7eKfs6ks
Twitter
RT @UnderSecAF: Enjoyed meeting with @MDNG Airmen of the 175th Wing. We talked about getting the mission done and getting #vaccinated. We c…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Anytime, Anywhere requires us to be ready at all times. Mandatory vaccination deadlines: Nov 2 – Active Duty personnel…
Twitter
Members of @theSCANG & @SCNationalGuard joined the Republic of Colombia's air force to accomplish humanitarian aid… https://t.co/PfzpLjblfx
Twitter
#AirForce senior leaders and their spouses will host a town hall at #ASC21 Sept. 22 from 1:00 p.m. - 1:40 p.m EDT.… https://t.co/Tex1VacuQ5
Twitter
A B-2 Spirit assigned to @Whiteman_AFB conducts air refueling operations with an @RAFMildenhall KC-135 Stratotanker… https://t.co/RGNS0zsSGj
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: It’s vital we stay one step ahead of the strategic competition. https://t.co/vnz5ZXPNo3
Twitter
Hear why this #Airman chose to get vaccinated. @SecAFOfficial directed the COVID-19 vaccine implementation guideli… https://t.co/98IPwW9eUB
Twitter
RT @AETCommand: September is #SuicideAwarenessMonth. Suicide is a serious issue in the military & preventing it is a priority. Here are res…
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: “It feels amazing to help. It makes us proud to wear this uniform, and it reminds us why we put it on and why we raised o…
Twitter
.@RamsteinAirBase welcomed 200 volunteers sent by the German military in support of Operation Allies Refuge during… https://t.co/GsAf6EQzi4
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: On the 20th Anniversary of 9/11, we will never forget. #PatriotDay #NationalDayofServiceandRemembrance https://t.co/PfGXl…
Twitter
.@TeamMinot, N.D., hosted Operation Road Warrior for its #Defenders and Wyoming's @90thMissileWing security forces… https://t.co/xnFRoierGT
Twitter
Today, we recognize Patriot Day and remember the thousands of lives lost in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. We acknow… https://t.co/BMgNcZ9fuE
Twitter
Multinational students and #AirForce instructors from around the globe came together to learn and expand on allied… https://t.co/1qtqi9OrN2
Twitter
Throughout August, Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, @grandslamwing operated as a transit hub for Afghan refugees evacuated… https://t.co/amVMg8VqlE
Twitter
The #AirForce released its 2021 assessment on how states support Air and Space Force families. The evaluation measu… https://t.co/bseHKsXUzM
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: A message from @USAirForce & @SpaceForceDoD senior leaders leading up to 9/11: "We will never forget the nearly 3,000 in…
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
1,375,307
Follow Us