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Understanding the Department of Defense Memorandum

The Department of Defense Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is part of a cooperative effort between the Department of Defense and the Department of Education with the goal of fostering collaboration between the two departments to address education issues for children of military families.

Base reorganizations and closures and changes in deployments have resulted in relocations for hundreds of thousands of students in military families. The MOU will help guide these two departments as they address the challenges that children of military families often face by expanding school-based efforts to ease student transitions.

The departments will specifically focus on five areas which include quality education, student transition and support when a parent is deployed, data sharing, communication and outreach, and resources.

The goals of the MOU include providing leadership and advocacy programs to help military students cope with deployments, increasing the quality of educational opportunities for all military children, expanding student learning options through online, virtual and other research-based teaching models, supporting foreign language education and proving the support needed for seamless transitions for military children.

The Department of Defense and the Department of Education plan to accomplish these goals by working together in small groups with agency representatives and members of the local education community. Local school districts will not be required to take any action based on the MOU, which is designed to be a broad and comprehensive framework for cooperation rather than a list of mandatory rules.

The departments hope that the MOU will help them work with local schools to pursue quality education for students in military families by sharing successful educational options and best practices. By working together and exchanging information, schools, the Department of Defense and the Department of Education can help ensure that the promise of quality education for military children is fulfilled.

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