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…for the sake of the child. Military Children and Schools. Princeton University October 8, 2014. David Splitek, Ph.D., Program Manager Higher Education Initiatives

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…for the sake of the child

MilitaryChildren and Schools

Princeton University

October 8, 2014

David Splitek, Ph.D., Program Manager Higher Education Initiatives

about the military child education coalition

Vision:To serve as a model of positive leadership and advocacy for ensuring quality educational opportunities for all military children affected by mobility, family separation, and transition.

  • Mission:
  • To ensure quality educational experiences for all military children
  • Military Child Education Coalition
  • 909 Mountain Lion Circle Harker Heights, Texas 76548
  • (254) 953-1923
  • Combined Federal Campaign approved organization, #10261

About the Military Child Education Coalition

presentation roadmap

Overview of Military and Military-Connected Children Demographics

  • MCEC Origins
  • MCEC National Policy Priorities
  • Summary

Presentation Roadmap

military facts and figures

All volunteer force since 1973 (40+ years)

  • About 1.4 million on active duty
  • About 1.4 million National Guard/Reserve Forces
  • Across all branches:
    • 50% are below age 25
    • 85% male
    • High school degree or equivalent
    • 70% have at least some college credit
    • About half are married
    • 10% are dual-military marriages

Military Facts and Figures

who are the military children

Almost 2M children (Mom, Dad or

  • Both Active Duty, Guard or Reserve)
  • 1.1 Million school-aged (5-18)
  • 630,000 children of Active Duty
  • 480,000 children of Guard & Reserves
  • 75% of Active Duty children under age 12

Who Are the Military Children?

military children and transitions

Over 2 million children have a mother or father who served in Iraq or Afghanistan

  • Active Duty Military families move 3 times more frequently than civilian counterparts

Military Children and Transitions

distribution of military connected children by type of school environment

Distribution of Military-Connected Children by Type of School Environment

Public Schools:76%

Private/Parochial: 10%

DoDEA: 8%

Home Schooled: 6%*

On average, 90% of public education funding comes from state and local sources.

mcec origins

1950-1975 Vietnam

  • 1973 All-Volunteer -> Longer Service
  • All-Volunteer -> More Married, More Children
  • 1983 Grenada
  • 1991 Desert Storm
  • 1995 Bosnia

MCEC Origins

mcec origins1

Military Parent Issues coalesced in 1990’s

  • School Policies and Admin Rules did not recognize mobile students
      • Grade level placement
      • Course Placement
      • Graduation Requirements
      • Extra-curricular participation
      • Student to student connections
      • School-Age Eligibility Dates
      • Immunization Requirements

MCEC Origins

mcec origins2

1997 Ft. Hood and Killeen ISD leadership met informally

  • 1997 MCEC created as a nonprofit organization supported financially by KISD for several years
  • Now serving military-connected children worldwide

MCEC Origins


State Rank by Populations of Military Connected Children




















military child education coalition policy priorities

Data Quality:We support the inclusion of a military-connected student identifier in state public school data systems to help us better understand and track the academic progress of these students and they move through their K-12 school years.

College and Career Ready:

We support programs designed to ensure that all students are college and career-ready when they graduate from high school.

Implementation of the Interstate Compact:

We support the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunities for Military Children. The Compact provides the best opportunity for continuity for mobile military children throughout their K-12 school years.

Military Child Education CoalitionPolicy Priorities


How We Serve –

Research and Scholarly Publications

  • Over a Decade of In-Depth Inquiry and Analysis --
  • Research --
  • The Secondary Education Transition Study (SETS), 2001: Made recommendations to improve the transition of military-connected students
  • The Special Needs Studies, 2005 and 2009: Explored what transitioning military families face when moving with children who have special needs
  • Education of the Military Child in the 21st Century (EMC-21), 2011: Updates SETS; explores the education challenges of military-connected students with deployed parents; surveys home schooled students; studies challenges faced by children of Reserves and National Guard during deployments
  • Scholarly Publications --
  • The Future of Children (FOC), 2013: Jointly developed with Princeton University, The Brookings Institution, and MCEC -- to promote effective policies and programs for military-connected children and their families by providing timely, objective information based on the best available research.

Spring 2014



MCEC National Training Seminar:

July 30-31, 2015

Washington, DC



…for the sake of the child