FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Military children could have an easier time transitioning to and from South Carolina schools now that lawmakers have adopted two measures designed to set educational standards across state lines.

On July 14, South Carolina's Board of Education voted to adopt "Common Core Standards" that define math and reading standards for students at every grade level from kindergarten through 12th grade.

Gov. Mark Sanford and State Superintendent of Education Jim Rex co-signed the project application, making South Carolina the 25th state to adopt the standards developed by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers.

On June 11, Sanford also signed the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children, an agreement among 35 states to alleviate some of the hurdles typically faced by military children who transfer often along their journey to high school graduation.

"Military families know all too often about the difficulties their school-age children endure as they transition from place to place," said Keisha McCoy-Wilson, one of Fort Jackson's two school liaison officers. "With each move, there is a new school and new curriculum standards that they are expected to follow. By adopting these standards, South Carolina, alongside other states, has demonstrated its continuous support for these families and their children."

The Interstate Compact calls for schools to accept temporary transcripts for transferring students; give 30 days for immunizations; place children in current grades regardless of age; place honor students in similar courses; maintain services for special needs students; give credit for similar coursework; offer flexible deadlines to join extracurricular activities; allow additional excused absences for students whose parents are deployed; and allow students who don't meet graduation requirements in a new state to walk in a graduation ceremony, but be awarded diplomas from the previous state if they meet that state's graduation requirements.

"What the compact provides for is a smoother transition process," said Ed Kringer, director of the State Liaison and Educational Opportunity Directorate of the Office of the Secretary of Defense. "In no way are we trying to give military children an advantage over local children. We're just trying to smooth out the bumps in the road caused by varying administrative policies that hinder successes in their education."

Page last updated Thu August 12th, 2010 at 08:00