Staff Analysis of the Legislation
This bill would amend Title 20 of the O.C.G.A. to adopt the “Interstate Compact on Education Opportunity for Military Children.”
- The compact contains many provisions, to include:
- Facilitating transfer of military children;
- Facilitating transition into programs for which they are eligible;
- Facilitating on-time graduation
- Facilitating communications among member states, schools and military families;
- Numerous definitions are provided to establish eligibility of children under the compact, various educational programs, activities and responsibilities. It also includes a definition of a “Interstate Commission on Educational Opportunity for Military Children.’
- Children of all active duty military, injured or medically discharged or retired military, and deceased military from injuries received while on active duty.
- The compact would apply only to LEA’s.
- Ineligible children would be those of:
- National guard and reserves;
- Retired military unless injured;
- Veterans; and
- USDOD personnel and other civilian and contract employees.
- Systems would have to enroll students with “hand carried” records and issue unofficial “hand carried” records to those children who are moving.
- Official records would have to be sent within 10 days of the receiving school’s request.
- Students would have 30 days to produce immunization records, and if further immunizations in a series are required, students would have 30 days to begin the series.
- Students in kindergarten and first grade would be placed according to their placement in the sending school, regardless of the receiving school’s placement rules.
- Likewise, students would be placed in courses and/or programs (including special needs) based on their enrollment in the sending school, if the courses are offered. Subsequent evaluations to determine appropriate placement and continued enrollment in those courses would be allowed.
- LEA’s would have flexibility in waiving prerequisites for enrollment in courses or programs.
- Additional excused absences would be provided a student whose military parent is to be deployed or is returning from deployment.
- Children who are under guardianship of another while military parents are deployed or are under transition are eligible for enrollment or continued enrollment.
- No tuition can be charged.
- Extra-curricular activities would be available for these children, regardless of application deadlines, to the extent they qualify.
- LEA’s would have to waive courses required for graduation if similar courses were completed in another system to provide reasonable justification for denial. If the denied student were on track to graduate in the sending system, the receiving system would have to provide an alternate course so the student could graduate on time.
- GA would have to accept other states’ exit exams in lieu of testing requirements for GA.
- If all alternative have been exhausted and the student would be eligible to graduate from the sending school, then the student would receive a diploma from that school.
- If the sending school were not in a compact state, then the receiving school would make its best effort to facilitate on-time graduation.
- Each membership state would have to create a state council to coordinate the compact with its membership specified in the bill
- The state council would appoint a liaison to assist military families and the state in facilitation of the compact.
- The member states would create the “Interstate Commission on Educational Opportunity for Military Children,” and the authority, membership and duties of the Commission is outlined in the compact.
- The Commission would have rule-making and enforcement capabilities, overruled only by a majority of the legislatures of member states. The compact would supersede any state laws in conflict.
- The provisions and rules would have standing as statutory law, and the Commission could initiate legal action in the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia or in the federal district where it has offices.
- The Interstate Commission would be able to levy and collect an annual assessment from each member state based on a formula that it devises and holds member states as binding.
- Conditions and procedures for a state’s withdrawal are included.