This Program Helps Level the Playing Field for Military Family Education

This Program Helps Level the Playing Field for Military Family Education
Photo by Robert Timmons/Army

(This article originally appeared in the October 2023 issue of Military Officer, a magazine available to all MOAA Premium and Life members. Learn more about the magazine here; learn more about joining MOAA here.)


Military-connected students attend between six and nine schools, on average, during their educational career. Transitioning schools becomes increasingly complex as the student matures and access to courses, extracurricular activities, and other priorities factor into their plans after graduation.


To ease the burden on uniformed service kids and their parents, DoD drafted the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children (ICEOMC) in cooperation with the Council of State Governments and National Center for Interstate Compacts in 2006.


The Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission (MIC3), the governing body of the ICEOMC, provides oversight for the compact. The ICEOMC deals with the unique challenges military-connected students face during frequent relocations. To make their transition easier, it addresses key issues and allows for uniform treatment as these children transfer between states so they have the same chance at success as other students and can avoid delays in meeting their educational goals.


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How the Compact Helps

Enrollment: It allows children to continue in their class year, even if the new school has a different age requirement for kindergarten and first grade.


Placement: It smooths transition between advanced placement programs and provides flexibility in basic course requirements.


Eligibility for activities: It provides increased opportunities for students to participate in extracurricular activities even if the tryout or application deadline for the activity has passed.


Graduation: It ensures districts work together to allow seniors changing schools in their final year to graduate on time.


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The School Liaison Program, an element of the compact, provides subject-matter experts to engage on a regular basis with military commanders, educators, and parents. They work closely with state and local education authorities to support military-connected students.


School liaisons are available in every state and country that has an active duty military installation. To find your school liaison, visit or call (859) 244-8000.


If you need additional assistance, each state has a compact commissioner who is familiar with state-specific language and requirements and reports regularly to the state legislature. For issues that cannot be resolved at the local or state level, the ICEOMC allows for the national office to intercede.


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About the Author

Jen Goodale
Jen Goodale

Goodale is MOAA's Director of Government Relations for Military Family and Survivor Policy.