Those who make the military a career frequently move from one base to another during their service. They accept that as part of the deal. But their children often pay a heavy price because the quality of the local schools near their base varies so widely in quality (“Military Kids Change School Up to 9 Times. So Let’s Make It Easier,” The New York Times, Jan. 9).
Dissatisfaction with the education their children receive is a significant factor in their leaving the service. Which is why a new bill called the Education Savings Accounts for Military Families Act of 2019 needs to become law. It would give them up to $6,000 to help with private school tuition, home-schooling, tutoring. college-prep classes and on-line courses in place of public school.
The sacrifices made by the men and women in the military are enormous. The least we can do as a grateful nation is to give them greater flexibility in the kind of education their children receive.
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2 Replies to “Military kids face unique challenge to get an education”
As an ex military dependent and schoolteacher, I can say that you only scratch the surface on this topic. I think you mean local, US schools in this piece, and while I am sure the military hopes the local schools close to US bases are good enough, expecting them to oversea or support the schools might be optimistic. Overseeing local schools isn’t why they are ‘in business’.
Having said that, I am confident that schools are in their equation if they allow families to accompany the military member to any area.
My husband was in the US Navy and The Navy has a succinct saying about personal issues of its members—-“If the Navy wanted you to have’ – and here you can insert, wife and/or children, ‘it would have issued you one.’
The military also knows that a happy service member is a better service member.
Also, many bases inside the US have closed as they were built during the Cold War. The local people who may have enjoyed good jobs on bases then, have found themselves unemployed or working for much less. Locals are not always completely thrilled about the presence of the military and this might be reflected in their attitude toward military children.
dkhatt: There is no perfect solution to the problem, but I think giving military parents funds to send their children to schools that they alone feel are superior to local schools is a step in the right direction.