1. Volume 3, Issue 2
Quarterly U.S. Department of Education Newsletter for the Military Community
"As a grateful nation it is our sacred responsibility to stand by our military children just as
they and their families stand by us. From improving the schools where they learn, to strengthening
the communities where they live, to supporting the parents and guardians who are raising them,
President Obama is committed to ensuring that this administration does everything it can to
support our military children."
- First Lady Michelle Obama at The White House, Washington D.C., April 7, 2010
April is Month of the Military Child
In 1986, Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger designated April as Month of the Military Child, a
time when each branch of the military service recognizes the sacrifices made by the children of
parents who are serving our country. The Month of the Military Child is an opportunity for the
nation to recognize military children and youths for their heroism, character, strength, and
sacrifices. During April, military bases around the world will honor these young American heroes
with special events just for them. When a parent is serving his or her country, the children are
serving, too. There are 1.7 million American children and youths under 18 years old with a parent
serving in the military, and approximately 900,000 children and youths who have had one or both
parents deployed multiple times. These families endure long separations and often are required to
move multiple times during their parent's service. This is a time to pay tribute to these kids and
recognize the commitment, sacrifice and support they show as they face the special challenges of
being a military child. First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, lifelong educator and wife of
Vice President Joe Biden, have expressed the important role military children play in the armed
forces community. Visit http://www.whitehouse.gov/photos-and-video/video/month-military-child
for more information.
ED and DoD
ED Discusses Reauthorization of ESEA With DoD
On Jan. 21, 2010, ED’s Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development made a special
presentation to the MOU working group on the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary
Education Act (ESEA). The reauthorization of this act will govern much of the Department of
Education’s work in the area of K-12 education and readiness for postsecondary opportunities.
Current ESEA goals are college-and career-ready students, great teachers and leaders in every
school, equity and opportunity for all students, raising the bar and rewarding excellence, and
promoting innovation and continuous improvement. The expected outcomes are closing the academic
achievement gap and helping all children learn by holding states and schools accountable for
students' academic progress. Reauthorization is expected to address fairness and flexibility for
schools, the richness and rigor of the curriculum, support for teachers and principals, school
accountability, and turning around low-performing middle and high schools.
2. On Feb. 2, 2010, Jim Shelton, assistant deputy secretary for innovation and improvement (OII),
Scott Pearson, associate assistant deputy secretary in OII, and Eric Waldo, special assistant to the
secretary, met with military stakeholders to discuss the reauthorization of the ESEA. The
invitation-only meeting was part of the Department’s efforts to reach out to stakeholders in
preparation for the reauthorization of ESEA. The discussion focused on military issues (e.g.,
Impact Aid, BRAC and other military transformations, student mobility, deployments, trauma and
loss) as they impact provisions and programs in the law and on how a reauthorized ESEA can better
support military-impacted students.
Navy Junior ROTC Program: East Aurora High School Has Nation’s Largest Unit
In 1995, East Aurora High School (Ill.) started a Navy Junior ROTC program with just 30 cadets.
By 2005, there were more than 500. In September 2009, more than 300 freshmen volunteered for
the program, making it the largest Navy Junior ROTC unit in the nation. School officials and
student cadets say the reasons for the program's popularity run deeper than patriotism and are
more closely related to socioeconomic status, tough family situations and students' aspirations.
The program offers an opportunity to change lives. East Aurora program's popularity has grown
because of its students’ stellar performance in national drill and color guard competitions. After-
school ROTC programs, color guard, drill teams, academic teams, and physical training teams also
keep the students active and engaged. The program emphasizes discipline, scholarship, citizenship
and community service, with the goal of college attendance.
DoDEA Launches New Web Site
DoDEA's Educational Partnership proudly presents "Students at the Center," an interactive
educational resource for everyone involved in the education of the children of U.S. military service
members. The resource is now available on the Web at
http://www.militaryk12partners.dodea.edu/studentsAtTheCenter/. This Web site outlines the
important policies, procedures, and best practices that will enable military families, military
leaders, and school leaders to provide military-connected children the best possible support for
success. Printed guidebooks and a DVD will be available to all through Military OneSource by early
May, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-342-9647 as well as online. The guide will serve as a
resource to stakeholders on how, from each of their perspectives, they can advocate for military-
ED Web Site Has Educator’s Guide to the Military Child During Deployment
A resource to support military children can be found at http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/os/
homefront/homefront.pdf,. The resource is the Educator’s Guide to the Military Child During
Deployment, a booklet designed to meet the needs expressed by teachers and other school
personnel for background information and intervention strategies to support the military child
during mobilization and deployment. In addition, the booklet answers some questions related to
transition, reunion and re-adjustment. Additional resources and deployment support services are
available at each of the armed services Web sites (for those on active duty, and in the reserve and
National Guard) and at any military base, or from your local community counseling services.
3. Bill Introduced in the House
H.R. 4279 (Quigley, D-IL) was introduced to amend Titles 38 (Veterans Benefits) and 10 (Armed
Forces) of the U.S. Code, to authorize accelerated payments of educational assistance to certain
veterans and members of the reserve components of the Armed Forces (Veterans' Affairs; Armed
Services). It is presently in Committee.
Support for College
IRS Data Retrieval Tool
As of January 2010, 2009-10 FAFSA on the WebSM applicants can use the IRS Data Retrieval tool.
Once the Department determines that an applicant has completed a tax return and the other
criteria have been met (e.g. applicant has a valid SSN), the IRS Data Retrieval tool can be utilized.
For more information, visit http://www.nasfaa.org/publications/2009/anirsfafsadata120409.html.
Contacts: Carrie Jasper, writer and editor; Cynthia Hearn Dorfman, advisor; and Charles Boyer, special advisor for
military families at MilitaryContacts@ed.gov .
Contributors: Lynda Edwards, Julie Ewart, Anna Kimsey, Kathy Facon and Connie Gillette.
To subscribe, unsubscribe or comment on this newsletter, please contact MilitaryContacts@ed.gov.
Touching Base is online at: http://www.ed.gov/news/newsletters/touchingbase/.
Note: This document contains information about and from public and private entities and organizations for the reader’s
information. Inclusion does not constitute an endorsement by the U.S. Department of Education of any entity or
organization or the products or services offered or views expressed. This publication also contains hyperlinks and
URLs created and maintained by outside organizations. They are provided for the reader’s convenience; however, the
Department is not responsible for the accuracy of this information.