A newly appointed council made up of state legislators, educators and an active-duty reservist will coordinate Virginia’s efforts to remove roadblocks for military children in enrollment, placement and graduation in the commonwealth’s public schools – and for military students moving from Virginia to other states or territories.
The Virginia Council on the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children was created by the 2009 General Assembly, which incorporated the compact into state law. Virginia has the greatest number of military children in the nation, with more than 79,000 students from military families.
"The council’s goal is to ensure that the children of the men and women of our armed forces experience a seamless transition when they enter the commonwealth’s public schools," said Senator John Miller of Newport News, who serves as the council’s chairman. "The council will seek to ensure that students from military families are quickly enrolled, properly placed and have the resources they need to be successful."
The other members of the Virginia Council on the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children are as follows:
- Delegate M. Kirkland Cox of Colonial Heights;
- Patricia I. Wright, superintendent of public instruction;
- William C. Bosher Jr., distinguished professor of public policy at the Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University;
- James S. Lander, senior systems engineer at Acquisition Solutions Inc. and currently a reservist on active duty;
- James G. Merrill, superintendent of Virginia Beach Public Schools; and
- Winston O. Odom, superintendent of Hopewell Public Schools.
The first meeting of the council will be scheduled after the 2010 General Assembly adjourns. Virginia Department of Education will provide administrative support to the council.
The Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children was drafted by the Council of State Governments in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Defense. Twenty-seven states have now approved the compact.