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Military children to be served by special interstate organization

State helps 'new kid in school'

Wednesday, May 20, 2009
By Steve Campbell
Times Staff Writer This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

New law helps ease paperwork hassles for military brats

Gov. Bob Riley signed a law Tuesday designed to help students of military families transfer with less hassle to Alabama schools.

The law makes Alabama the 19th state to join the Interstate Commission on Educational Opportunity for Military Children. States in the organization help the students work out differences in states' graduation requirements, school admissions, eligibility for extracurricular activities and other school-related issues.

In a statement, Riley noted that children of military families sacrifice by moving frequently when their parents are reassigned.

"They move frequently throughout their young lives and are always the new kid in school," he said. "We must do everything we can to ease their transition and help them overcome the obstacles they face."

Madison City Schools Superintendent Dr. Dee Fowler praised the law, noting that many children in his school system are from military families that recently moved to Madison.

Fowler cited one student last year who transferred to Madison's Bob Jones High School from Alaska, which has different graduation requirements than Alabama. The new law, he said, would benefit military children who move to the area from out of state.

In Madison County, secondary education director Sandra Spivey also praised the law. Spivey said about 3,000 students, or 15 percent of the county's estimated 20,000 students, come from military families.

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