Senate Bill 94, introduced yesterday by Delaware Senator Brian Bushweller, would allow tracking of a student with ties to the military. But it can’t violate FERPA, or be used for accountability, or anything that could cause problems for the student. But it would only be used by local districts to know of any military connections. Okay… why?
According to Dr. Terri Hodges, President of the Delaware PTA, the reasoning behind the bill is this:
The Delaware PTA Military Outreach Committee began work on this issue a little over a year ago with a coalition of stakeholders and Sen. Bushweller to bring the issue of military awareness to the forefront in Delaware. We proposed a data tracking system to identify military connected students. The primary purpose behind this proposal was to bring awareness to the unique needs of military connected students and how those needs impact them academically, emotionally and socially. The majority of military connected students in Delaware attend schools off base, including in New Castle and Sussex. However, due to the lack of awareness and understanding of military culture and lifestyle, most of our schools are not aware of or familiar with the resources available for these families. The students are labeled as behavioral problems and do not receive appropriate interventions. Part of the problem is that non DoD schools have no way to identify military connected students so that they can channel those resources to those families. This is the purpose of the Bill. During our research phase, we worked with other state PTAs in states that have already passed similar legislation or are in the process of developing similar legislation.
So the idea behind the Bill is really to have a process to identify military connected students for the purposes of providing appropriate resources and supports specific to military families, like mine that attend a non- DoD school.
Hope that helps. Anyone interested in learning more or working with our Military Outreach Committee can contact me.
Originally, I thought this legislation was odd, but thanks to Dr. Hodges for explaining it to me. This actually makes a lot of sense, and I support this 100%! Please read the legislation below: