ANNAPOLIS, Md. (July 14, 2010) – Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown, joined by State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Nancy S. Grasmick, addressed the State Council of the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children (“State Council”) today at its first meeting in Annapolis. The State Council, created by Governor Martin O’Malley through Executive Order, was formed earlier this year to address the educational needs of military children and their families as they transfer from one school system to the next.
“We owe our military families a great debt of gratitude for their sacrifices and service to protect our freedom,” said Lt. Governor Brown. “As our service members move from one school district to the next, they can rest assured knowing their children will have a smooth transition to their new school and that they will be granted the same opportunities for educational success as the rest of Maryland’s No. 1 students.”
Today’s inaugural meeting will provide members with an update on progress made by the Maryland State Department of Education, allow discussion to identify communication strategies, provide information on the yearly Commission meetings, provide an update on the working committees of the Commission, determine chairmanship of the State Council and identify frequency and location of meetings.
“It is extremely important to provide a safe and orderly transition into Maryland’s education system for the children of our service members,” said Dr. Nancy S. Grasmick, State Superintendent of Schools. “Our state takes a comprehensive approach to making certain the needs of our military families are met, and that these children are embraced by our schools and classrooms.”
Last year, Lt. Governor Brown led the O'Malley-Brown administration’s efforts to add Maryland to the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children (“Interstate Compact”). Maryland became the 11th state to sign onto the Compact, now comprised of 35 member states, to ensure that there are no barriers to educational success imposed on children of military families because of frequent moves and the deployment of their parents. The Interstate Compact also provides for an Interstate Commission to draft and enforce rules and provide general oversight. Each member state is represented on the Interstate Commission and must create its own State Council to ensure compliance with the compact, and each council must appoint a military family education liaison to facilitate implementation of the compact.
The Governor of each member state must also appoint a compact commissioner responsible for the administration and management of the state’s participation in the compact. Mary L. Gable, Assistant State Superintendent of Schools, has been appointed to be the State Commissioner for the Interstate Compact and represents the State at the national meetings of the Interstate Compact Commission.
Other members of the State Council include:
* Fort Meade liaison Sarah E. Bonise;
* Acting Coordinator of Guidance for Anne Arundel County Public Schools Lucia Martin;
* Executive Department representative Jeanette Ortiz;
* Superintendent of Harford County Schools Dr. Robert M. Tomback;
* Military family representative Dr. Flavia Walton;
* Senator John C. Astle; and
* Delegate Anne Kaiser.
Ex-officio members include:
* State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Nancy S. Grasmick;
* Compact Commissioner Mary L. Gable; and
* Michael Linkin, Military Family Education Liaison.
The average military student faces transition challenges more than twice during high school, and most military children will have six to nine different school systems in their lives from kindergarten to 12th grade. With more than half of all military personnel supporting families, the impacts of reassignment and long deployments are key considerations when making long-term life choices. Specific impacts on military children include the transfer of records, course sequencing, and graduation requirements. The Interstate Compact addresses these issues, as well as compact enforcement, administration, finances, communications, data sharing and training.
Brown serves as the O’Malley-Brown Administration point person on veteran and military family issues. He is a Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves and the highest-ranking elected official in America to have served a tour of duty in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.