Touching Base--Volume 3 Issue 2

April 2010 — Volume 3 Issue 2
“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 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.

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 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-connected students.


ED Web Site Has Educator’s Guide to the Military Child During Deployment

A resource to support military children can be found at,. 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.


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

Contacts: Carrie Jasper, Writer and Editor; Cynthia Hearn Dorfman, advisor; and Charles Boyer, Special Advisor for Military Families at
Contributors Lynda Edwards, Julie Ewart, Anna Kimsey, Kathy Facon and Connie Gillette. Contributors
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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 theU.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.

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Last Modified: 06/29/2010