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HomeEducationMcLaughlin named Compact Commissioner for Tennessee with the Military Interstate Children's Compact

McLaughlin named Compact Commissioner for Tennessee with the Military Interstate Children’s Compact

Deanna McLaughlin
Deanna McLaughlin

Clarksville, TN – Governor Bill Haslam has appointed Deanna McLaughlin as a Compact Commissioner for Tennessee with the Military Interstate Children’s Compact (MIC3).

Each Commissioner serves as a representative on behalf of his or her or his state with the compact. “I want to thank these men and women for their commitment to serving our state,” Haslam said. “They will represent the people of Tennessee well.”

Clarksville City Councilwoman Deanna McLaughlin accepts his charge willing, “I am truly honored that Governor Haslam chose me for this position,” said McLaughlin.

“Those of you that know me, understand my passion for military members and their families. In this role I will be able to assist military members by helping to make the educational experiences of their children transition smoothly as they transfer to and from schools in our state.”

The Compact provides for the uniform treatment of military children transferring between school districts and states. It was developed by The Council of State Governments’ National Center for Interstate Compacts, the Department of Defense, national associations, federal and state officials, departments of education, school administrators and military families.

The Compact affects children in Kindergarten through the 12th grade who are in the household of an active duty member of the uniformed services, National Guard and Reserve on active duty orders, veterans who are medically discharged or retired within the last year, or survivors of a service member who gave their life while on active duty.

Services covered include the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, or Navy; along with the commissioned corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) or the Public Health Services.

Tennessee joined the MIC3 in mid 2010. Early in 2012 Tennessee must set up a state Military Interstate Children’s Compact Board. The Board will enact the rules necessary to implement the Compact. Each participating state also creates a state council based on the requirements of their state legislation.

School systems in Tennessee must comply with requirements of the Compact in the following areas: educational records, enrollment, placement, attendance and graduation. The state regulations may be adjusted by the by the MIC3’s Interstate Commission, and supersede any contradictory state statutes.

Under the compact:

  • When a military child transfers from a school, the school must give an unofficial copy of their records to the child’s parents. Receiving schools must admit the student based on the unofficial record, and must allow thirty (30) days for the parent to get their child any  immunizations that may be required by that state.
  • The receiving school must place the student at their appropriate grade level (including kindergarten) as well as enroll them in any special programs (including but not limited to extracurricular activities, gifted and honors programs, ESL, technical and career courses) that the student was participating in at the previous school. Prerequisites or preconditions may be waived.
  • The receiving school must also carry out any Individualized Education Plans (IEP) or 504 Plans that was devised for the student by the previous school.
  • Due to the special needs associated with having a parent or legal guardian who has been called to duty for, is on leave from, or immediately returned from deployment to a combat zone or combat support posting, the child must be granted additional excused absences at the discretion of the school system superintendent.
  • The receiving school must accept as sufficient; a special power of attorney for purposes of enrollment and all other actions requiring parental participation and consent.
  • A military child who is placed in the care of a noncustodial parent or other person may continue to attend the school in which they were enrolled in  while residing with the service member, and no additional local tuitions for non-resident students may be charged.
  • The receiving school must also work to ensure the on-time graduation of military students by accepting test results from other states and by waiving specific courses required for graduation if similar course work has been satisfactorily completed in the previous school, or by providing an alternative means of acquiring required coursework. If no alternative they will allow the student to graduate on time, and both schools shall ensure the receipt of a diploma from the previous school, provided the student meets all of the graduation requirements of that school system.

The Department of Defense continues to work with the Commission, Council of State Governments, national organizations, and state leaders to bring the remaining states on board. So far Thirty-nine (39) states have adopted the Compact.

Member states are beginning to form their State Councils and inform school districts of the terms of the Compact. The Commission has met twice and is working to implement and communicate the requirements of the Compact.

Deanna McLaughlin will be traveling to Louisville Kentucky in a few weeks to attend the National MIC3 Conference. “At this conference I will attend New Commissioner Training which will give me a great understanding of the duties of this role.”

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