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U.S. Defense and Education Departments Sign Memorandum of Understanding

On June 25, 2008 the U.S. Department of Education and the Department of Defense signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the two agencies with one goal — to provide quality education for every military child. Dr. David Chu, then Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, hosted a signing ceremony at the Pentagon and made opening remarks

“The agreement we embark on today with the Department of Education will expand and enrich existing efforts to ensure quality education opportunities for children of our nation´s Service members,” Chu said. “It will also foster greater cooperation, collaboration and sharing of best practices to help ease the stress of transitions and deployments, which military children know all too well.”

photo_MOUsigningDeputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England and Deputy Secretary of Education Raymond Simon signed the agreement and both also made comments.

“Our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines deserve the best educational opportunities for their families,” England said. “We ask so much of them — dedication, selfless service, frequent transfers and deployments away from the ones they love — all in the name of protecting our nation and its interests.”

Although the two agencies have worked together in the past on isolated issues and programs, this memorandum will foster much broader cooperation.

“With the signing of this document, both departments committed resources to create, expand, and improve quality education opportunities and to address the special challenges our military children face,” said Kathy Facon, Chief of theEducational Partnership Branch of DoDEA.

“The departments will work in concert to address five specific areas: quality education, student transition and support when a parent is deployed, data sharing, communication and outreach, and resources,” Facon said.

photo_MOUpledgeA working group, co-chaired by representatives of the two departments, will meet periodically to accomplish the stated goals of the memorandum. The first meeting took place on July 16 at DoDEA Headquarters.

“Every military child deserves a quality education no matter where they are in the world or how frequently they move,” Facon said. “We´re all excited about this collaboration and the dedicated people who will take this document and make the thoughts and plans a reality.”