Schools will now collect data on children from military families

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WASHINGTON (News4Utah) – For the first time this year, schools across the nation will ask students if one of their parents is active duty military.

A law passed in 2015 requires schools to collect and report data on children of active duty service men and women.

The program is designed to help these kids with the stress that comes with deployment and frequent moves across the country.

Service men and women face challenges on and off the battlefield and their children face challenges of their own back home.

 “Military kids move on average every two to three years and sometimes those school transitions can be challenging,” said Eilleen Huck with the National Military Family Association.

Huck said for the first time this year, schools across the nation are required by law to ask if a student has an active duty parent in the military.

 “From a parent’s standpoint it should be very seamless,” said Huck.

It is a part of the Every Student Succeeds Act, which was signed into law in 2015, starting this year schools are required to collect the information and send it to their state education agency

 “That student data file going forward will always have a flag or a purple star or some indicator that this is a military-connected child,” said Jack Ballantyne.

Ballantyne with the Military Child Education Coalition said the information will give teachers insight into issues faces these students, so they can help the kids succeed.

 “Now they can be able to see and know who their military-connected kids are, they can tell how the kids are doing academically, social and emotionally compared to their civilian peer counterparts,” said Ballanthyne.

Ballantyne said while the new law is a step in the right direction, it doesn’t go far enough.

 “The federal law doesn’t require the data to be collected for the guard and the reserve,” said Ballantyne. He hopes Congress will change that.

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