New state panelto look at needsof military kids
Arizona state officials are taking steps to support military families. It is very appropriate given the scope of the military presence in our state.
Gov. Jan Brewer has signed an executive order to create a panel to specifically address the needs of school-age children of military families in our state. The State Council on the Education for Military Children will dovetail with the involvement of the Arizona Department of Education in the national commission with the same goal.
Notably the state panel will include representation from Yuma County's two military installations — the Marine Corps Air Station and Yuma Proving Ground, in addition to three other military bases located in Arizona.
In many ways these children have the same educational needs as children from families that are not in the military. But they also have particular challenges that apply only to them. These include extended deployments of family members, more frequent relocations and differing curriculum when they move between schools. Just keeping track of education records and meeting different school requirements can be difficult.
According to the governor's office, the primary reason she is creating the council is to provide a place where those with concerns about the educational needs of military children can bring them. The council will be something of an intermediary that accepts concerns, analyzes them with the input of military members and passes on recommendations to those who can correct them.
It is an important job. There are an estimated 10,000 children of military families attending public schools in the state.
The military presence in our state contributes a lot to our economy. It makes sense to do our best to ensure that the needs of the military are being met, whether it is in our public schools or elsewhere.