(Washington, D.C.) – Today, an amendment authored by U.S. Senator Patty Murray to help track school progress of students from military-connected families was adopted as part of a major U.S. Senate education overhaul. The amendment passed in the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee’s markup of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) by a bipartisan vote of 13 to 9.
“We ask so much of our service members and their families, but we don’t have any programs in place to study the impact that life in a military family can have on child’s education.” said Senator Murray. “This amendment allows us to take the first step in helping military-connected children succeed in school by learning more about what life events – from deployments of their parents to changing schools every few years – impact their success in the classroom.”
Currently, schools and educators do not have access to reliable, consistent data on the academic well-being of students from military families. Without a military-connected student identifier, school districts cannot track these students’ performance, educators cannot as effectively prepare transitioning students for their new school, and there are no performance indicators for the local districts to discover practices and processes worthy of attention and replication to ensure success.
This amendment would create a report-only subgroup for military-connected students, generating precise data about their classroom success and the schools they attend. The amendment would help federal, state, and local entities eventually target resources for this vulnerable population, and it is supported by organizations supporting military families across the country, including:
American Association of School Administrators
America’s Promise Alliance
Association of the U.S. Army
Military Child Education Coalition
Military Officers Association of America
National Association of Elementary School Principals
National Association of Secondary School Principals
National Association of State Boards of Education
National Guard Association of the United States
National Military Family Association