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December 2012 State Council Meeting Minutes

Minutes of the December 6, 2012, meeting of the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children.

Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children

California State Council - General Business Meeting
December 6, 2012

California Department of Education
1430 N Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

Present

Welcome and Introductions

Jacie Ragland, SSPI Designee, State Council: Called the first meeting of the California State Council for the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children to order at 9:09 a.m. at the Sacramento headquarters of the CDE.

SSPI Torlakson: There are some fiscal issues to resolve regarding fees owed by California for membership in the Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission. The CDE will seek funds to pay the state’s dues.

Introduction of State Council Members

Kate Wren Gavlak, Commissioner, State Council: Introduced the members present, and told members that the work of the State Council is of nationwide significance in representing the needs of children in military families. California, Texas, and Virginia have the highest number of children in the United States.

PowerPoint Presentation

Commissioner Wren Gavlak: The Compact needs to help ensure that school district policies in states covered by the Compact are consistent in addressing the needs of students in the areas of:

Background and functions of the Interstate Compact:

National Commission Report

Commissioner Wren Gavlak: Although California does not presently waive the California High School Exit Exam, the State Council will strive to help students graduate. The Compact can advocate for students who need flexibility in graduation requirements when they move from another school district.

The Commissioner explained the Compact’s role:

California was required to pay its $60,000 dues last year, following a lawsuit for nonpayment. The California Compact does not yet have established ongoing funding.

The Commissioner’s role:

Historical Overview: Task Force Report

Task Force Chairman John Burns: California has had numerous military base closures, including several in the Sacramento area. Now that several bases have closed, the majority of military personnel are located in San Diego. The vast majority of California legislators now have no direct stake in military issues; lobbying for legislation and funding is difficult outside of the San Diego area.

Earlier legislation stalled in 2008, as legislators were hesitant about possible loss of state authority in joining the Interstate Compact. Legislators expressed concern about possible conflict with existing state laws and school district policies. In October 2008, Assembly Bill 2049 authorized formation of the Task Force created to study potential implications of California’s entry into the Compact. Passage of Senate Bill 343 provided authority for California to join the Compact in 2009.

The Task Force met three times in 2008 and 2009. Some meetings were held in San Diego, where a large number of military personnel were available to give input on issues relating to the Compact and the needs of military children and families. Some also testified before the California State Legislature.

Review of Requirements of the Report to the Legislature

Chairman John Burns: While passage of SB 343 allowed the original Task Force to be convened as the State Council, passage of AB 2202 in 2012 authorized the necessary additional time to complete the task of reporting to the Legislature. Three of the original members of the Task Force are now on the State Council. The Council is required to complete its report to the Legislature by December 1, 2013. The $60,000 dues owed by California is a substantial part of the Interstate Commission’s  budget.

California Dues Update and Discussion

Wade Crowfoot: Legislation allowing for the establishment of the Interstate Compact in California did not identify a funding source. The Interstate Compact sued California for the dues, which were subsequently paid, but there is a need for a compromise regarding payment of this year’s dues.

Craig Cheslog, Principal Advisor to the SSPI: There is a need for a budget proposal to get dues paid, but it will be difficult to acquire funds in the present economic climate. The $60,000 needed to pay annual dues for the Compact is unavailable due to budget cuts at the CDE; there is no funding mechanism for the dues at this time.

Perhaps the State Council could consider trying to raise the money through a one-time private fundraising effort, such as a gala dinner. It may be possible to get funding via legislation later, and suggested research be done on how other state compacts pay their dues. Some members of the Council indicated that they would not be able to support, endorse, or participate in any fundraising activities for dues payment, or otherwise, due to organization ethics regulations.

State Council Member Comments

Chairman John Burns: The report due to the Legislature from the State Council now will be due in less than a year. The Legislature wants the report to be “short and to the point.” Anecdotal evidence could be used as part of the report and a short bibliography listing resources could be included.

Commissioner Wren Gavlak: The State Council should “fast-track” the report and try to have it completed by September or October of 2013. Approximately 70 percent of military families are unaware the Compact exists, and it would be important for a survey of county school superintendents to be done to provide additional information for the report to the Legislature.

SSPI Designee Jacie Ragland: The report would have to go through the CDE approval process, which would take a few weeks.

Public Comments

There were no public comments.

Establish Meeting Calendar: February/March 2013

The next meeting of the State Commission will be scheduled for February 7, 2013, with the location to be determined in the next few weeks.

Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 2:55 p.m.

Questions: Jacie Ragland | jragland@cde.ca.gov | 916-323-2568 
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