The quality of K-12 education is an important criterion for retention of the military family. The Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) is charged with the critical responsibility and privilege of educating the children of our Nation's military. Recognizing that over 1.1M military-connected students attend public schools, leveraging partnerships with school districts is paramount in influencing successful educational outcomes for military-connected students.
Consequently, the National Defense Authorization Act of 2008 provided DoDEA the authority to share resources with public schools that educate military-connected students. One aspect of resources is the authority to administer a grant program that supports research-based strategies that enhance student achievement and ease the challenges that military children face due their parents military service.
From 2009 to today, there have been over 321grants awarded by DoDEA, totaling over $400 million in investments in LEAs serving military-connected students. Additionally, DoDEA awarded the National Math Science Foundation over $33 million to assist in their efforts to improve graduation rates for military-connected students. Educational Partnership Program grants have reached over 1.5 million students (31% military-connected) in over 2,000 schools across the country. Data indicate that there is significant improvement in student achievement, increased professional development for teachers, enhanced social and emotional support.
Using Grantee Data in Publication. The DoDEA established the Evaluation and Technical Assistance Center (ETAC) which expands the reach of the grant program by creating award-winning publications for educators that include portable, successful strategies to support military-connected youth. ETAC Publications include:
- Grantee program overview
- Implementation lessons learned
- Advice to others interested in similar work
- Guiding questions to be used as a professional development tool to think about how others can implement the highlighted strategies
To review all of the resources available please visit the ETAC website at: http://www.dodk12grants.org
Below are a few of those award-winning publications:
- Military-Connected Students in Charter Schools: This brief provides an overview of three DoDEA funded charter schools, highlights successful grant strategies, and offers advice to other schools and charter programs that support military-connected students.
- Promising Practices in Virtual Learning: This brief highlights strategies that proved effective in practice to provide dedicated virtual learning counselors/coaches for student support and build systematic capacity through district and program systems. The districts with virtual learning programs highlighted are Alamogordo PS (NM), Travis USD (CA), San Diego USD (CA), and Hawaii Dept of Ed., and Anchorage SD (AK).
- Strategy Boosters: This brief highlights 4 types of strategies that DoDEA grant programs have used: Professional Development, Technology in the Classroom, Formative Assessments and Transition Support. The districts profiled are El Paso ISD (TX), Huntsville City Schools (AL), Northside ISD (TX), Clover Park SD (WA), Manhattan-Ogden USD (KS), Hardin County Schools (KY), Madison City Schools (AL), Fallbrook (CA), and San Diego USD (CA).