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 November 12, 2010

News

Interstate Compact addresses educational opportunities for military children

MADISON, Wis. — State Superintendent Tony Evers announced members of the Wisconsin Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunities for Military Children, a new state council that will smooth school transitions for children of military Families.

He selected Shelley Weiss of Waunakee as compact commissioner based on her experience as a middle-school principal and service in the military. Weiss, who was principal at Waunakee Middle School for 18 years, retired last year as a lieutenant colonel from the Wisconsin Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve where she had served as Inspector General.

Weiss will head the state council, which will include Evers; John Hendricks, superintendent of the Sparta School District, which serves numerous children from military Families; Becky Walley, outreach services director and school liaison officer at Fort McCoy; and appointees named by the senate majority leader and speaker of the assembly. One of the first duties of the council will be to appoint an additional member, a military Family education liaison.

“This council will focus on student needs as Wisconsin develops policies and practices to ensure educational success for children from military Families,” Evers said. “We must ensure that all children gain the knowledge and skills needed to graduate ready for the work force or further education.”

Wisconsin joined the Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission through legislative action. Wisconsin Act 329 requires formation of a state council to work with the interstate compact. The compact is developing consistent policies for all participating states to use to remove barriers that may impede education for children from military Families because of frequent moves and deployment by their parents. Among the policies and practices that need consistency across states are timely enrollment, student grade-level placement and on-time graduation, and eligibility for educational and extracurricular programs.

The first meeting for the Wisconsin Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children will be held later this year. As Wisconsin’s compact commissioner, Weiss will attend this fall’s interstate compact annual meeting in Texas. The November session will focus on the development of training plans, policies, and procedures to assist member states in the establishment of their respective state councils.

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