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April 2017 State Council Meeting Minutes

Minutes of the April 25, 2017 meeting of the Interstate Council on Educational Opportunity for Military Children.

California State Council for the
Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children
California State Council General Business Meeting
April 25, 2017
Admiral Baker Road, Building 3604
San Diego, CA 92124


State Council Members
Members Present:

Kate Wren Gavlak, Commissioner; Kelli May, Department of Defense (DOD) Liaison Representative; Kelly Frisch, DOD Liaison Representative; Jacie Ragland, State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SSPI) Designee; and Nancy Frawley, Assembly Member Jacqui Irwin Designee (by phone).

Members Absent:

John Burns, Task Force Chairperson; Justin Cunningham, State Council Member; Patricia Rucker, State Board of Education; and Senator Toni Atkins or Designee.

Invited Participants:

Michelle C. Bas, Commander of U.S. Coast Guard; Kathy Facon, Department of Defense Education Activity (DODEA) Representative; and Colonel Steven Armes, Marine Corps Installations West (MCIWEST) Government and External Affairs Director.

Welcome and Introductions
  • Jacie Ragland, SSPI Designee: Opened the meeting of the California State Council for the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children (State Council) at 9:15 a.m. at the Admiral Baker Club, San Diego, California. She introduced Kathy Facon, DODEA Representative, and asked that introductions be made from all. Approximately 25 guests were in attendance which included school liaison officers and representatives from the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.
Opening Remarks
  • Kelly Frisch, DOD Liaison Representative: Provided welcome remarks on behalf of Navy Region Southwest.
Approval of Previous Meeting Minutes
  • Kate Wren Gavlak, Commissioner: Made a motion to approve minutes from the November 1, 2016, State Council meeting; the motion was seconded by Jacie Ragland, SSPI Designee. The State Council voted unanimously to approve the minutes from the November 1, 2016, meeting.
Commissioner’s Update

Kate Wren Gavlak, Commissioner: Provided updates on the following topics:

  • Utah Legislation
    • Legislation was signed by the Utah Governor making changes to the Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission (MIC3); however, the legislation will most likely need to be repealed because states must receive concurrence from the National MIC3 and all member states to make substantive changes.
  • Annual Business Meeting and Commission Update:
    • The focus of the National MIC3 is now on training, working on modules with DODEA to help train educators and DOD liaisons on the Interstate Compact for Educational Opportunity for Military Children (Compact). The intent is to ensure that all commissioners and stakeholders are speaking the same language and keeping the focus on the students. All state commissioners are now using a standardized presentation with the same data.
    • The National MIC3 has also worked on a strategic plan over the past year.
    • Kelli May, DOD Liaison Representative: Asked when the strategic plan is anticipated to be completed or published.
    • Kate Wren Gavlak, Commissioner: Responded that it has already been completed and should be published on the MIC3 Web site.
    • Kathy Facon, DODEA Representative: Mentioned that part of the strategic plan is the revamp of the Web site and the DODEA is assisting in this effort.
    • Kate Wren Gavlak, Commissioner: Stated that Ms. Cherise Imai, of Hawaii, is the new National MIC3 Executive Director.
    • The next Annual MIC3 Business Meeting will be in Providence, Rhode Island, in late October.
  • Appointment of Representatives From Each Military Branch
  • Kate Wren Gavlak, Commissioner: Discussed that the process for obtaining DOD approval for the representatives on the State Council has been long and challenging, and informed that she is still waiting on the official letters.
  • Kathy Facon, DODEA Representative: Stated that Mr. Bill Hampton, from the State Liaison Office of the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), is in charge of the appointments. However, with the new administration, there have been delays.
  • Kathy Facon, DODEA Representative: Confirmed that there is a DOD Instruction regarding the Compact, specifically regarding the process for nominating individuals as DOD representatives.
  • Kate Wren Gavlak, Commissioner: Explained that DOD assigns one service branch to represent the others on the councils, but the states have the option to nominate one from each service branch, which is what California is doing.
  • Michelle C. Bas, Commander: Discussed that the Coast Guard is intent on being part of the State Council and asked if it is better to wait for the letters to come out of the OSD, or if the Coast Guard can move forward with the designation directly with the State Council as part of U.S. Homeland Security. The decision was made to wait for all of the service branches to be signed at the same time. Appointments will be made by position, not by person, to mitigate any frequent turnovers that may be experienced in DOD personnel.
Recent Cases
  • Kate Wren Gavlak, Commissioner: There were a few cases since the last meeting that had to do with credit and enrollment. There was one case that had to do with transferring from international private schools to California, involving Indiana, Japan, and Virginia Beach.
  • Kathy Facon, DODEA Representative: Discussed how the DODEA Non-DOD Schools Program (NDSP) works. There are education specialists to assist counselors with transferability of courses at NDSP schools overseas, which include over 4,000 students in 133 locations worldwide.
  • Kate Wren Gavlak, Commissioner: Stated that most cases are resolved at the local level, which is ideal.
Break: Council Break For 15 Minutes
  • Steven Armes, Colonel: Provided remarks on behalf of the Command. He stated that the MCIWEST is committed to improving education, especially transition, of military children through support of legislation and execution of the School Liaison Program. He commended the work of the State Council and the School Liaisons in meeting the needs of military children on the ground.
  • Kathy Facon, DODEA Representative: Commented that if the OSD can be of assistance in moving bills along on the federal side, it might be a good opportunity. Both agreed that some issues are best left to the state if it is easier for legislation to pass, but that it is beneficial to connect state and federal efforts when appropriate.
Non-Interstate Compact Topics of Discussion
  • Kelli May, DOD Representative: Provided an update on current legislation that impacts military families:
    • Senate Bill 455: This bill will address the gaps not covered in SB 1455 by expanding the scope of remote enrollment and including all school districts throughout the state, not just districts that contain a military installation within their boundaries.
    • Kathy Facon, DODEA Representative: Asked if there is a mechanism to track utilization.
    • Kelli May, DOD Representative: Responded that since SB 1455 was just implemented in January 2017, there is no data yet; but the DOD School Liaisons have been asked to monitor and track how many families contact them or their school districts regarding the policy.
    • Assembly Bill 365 would waive local graduation requirements that go above and beyond state requirements.
    • AB 172 would close the gap of time between a military student being accepted into a state college and actually attending, ensuring that the student continues to maintain in-state tuition status even if their parent retires or relocates after acceptance, but before attending college.
    • AB 1106 would waive Basic Allowance for (Military) Housing for state preschool eligibility.
  • Kate Wren Gavlak, Commissioner: Discussed how AB 306 and “School of Choice” have been confused. AB 306 relates to interdistrict transfers, where as “School of Choice” falls under a different section of the California Education Code whereby districts must qualify as a school of choice.
State Council Member Comments
  • Kelli May and Kelly Frisch, DOD Representatives: Both reiterated the importance of driving information regarding Compact policies down to the local level for effective implementation.
  • Michelle C. Bas, Commander: Asked if there is a mechanism for sharing best practices at the state and national levels so that all states and districts have access to examples of how cases can be resolved.
  • Jacie Ragland, SSPI Designee: Brought up how the State Council sub-committees can assist in getting information on the California Department of Education’s (CDE) Web site to assist districts. The sub-committees were previously established, but should be revisited.
  • Kate Wren Gavlak, Commissioner: Stated that although she is now retired as the Travis Unified School District Superintendent, she intends to remain Commissioner as the California MIC3 Council and is very active in that regard. She maintains her passion for helping students, first and foremost.
Quarterly Meetings Schedule
  • The State Council discussed the schedule for quarterly meetings. The next meeting is scheduled for October 24, 2017, in Sacramento, however, that is the same week as the National MIC3 meeting so the State Council agreed to move the State Council meeting to November 7, 2017, at the CDE in Sacramento.
  • Kate Wren Gavlak, Commissioner: Adjourned the meeting at 10:45 a.m.
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