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May 4, 2018, State Council Meeting Minutes

Minutes of the May 4, 2018, 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
May 4, 2018

Mission Vista High School (MVHS)
Vista Unified School District
Oceanside, California


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; Aaron Skaggs Designee for Josh Newman; Sylvia Crowder, Family Education Liaison; and Jesse Najera, School District Superintendent for Silver Valley Unified School District (SVUSD).

Members Absent:
John Burns, Task Force Chairperson; Patricia Rucker, State Board of Education (SBE); No Designee for Todd Gloria.

Invited Participants:
US Marine Colonel (Col) Chris Richie; MVHS Principal Nicole Miller; Christian Mendoza, School Liaison Officer (SLO), Travis Airman and Family Readiness Center; Lilia Blair, Military Parent; Debbie Nichols, Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Military Children’s Collaborative Group; Gareth Smythe, Deputy Advisor, Governor’s Military Council; Allison Hsieh, Advisor, Governor’s Military Council; Ida Humphrey, SLO, LA Air Force Base (AFB); Lieutenant Colonel (Lt Col) Keith White, Deputy Group Commander, Ft Irwin; Lora Caudill-Liams, Principal; Captain Commanding Officer Jose Pena, Coast Guard Base LA; and Jennifer Conole, US Coast Guard Transition and Relocation Manager.

Other Attendees:
Kristina Becker, Government and External Affairs, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center 29 Palms; Patricia  Kalaye and Kristin Easton, SLOs, Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) San Diego; and Jeff Vouskievicz, SVUSD.

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 1:04 p.m. at the California Department of Education (CDE). She welcomed State Council members present and asked that introductions be made from all.

Opening Remarks

  • Kelli May, DOD Representative: Introduced and thanked MVHS Principal Nicole Miller   for hosting the State Council meeting. Principal Miller provided housekeeping details, background information about herself, and the school. She also informed that the district supports military families by allowing for priority enrollment and placement on the wait list.
  • Kelli May, DOD Representative: Introduced Col Chris Richie, Director MCI West Government and External Affairs. He shared his support for the State Council, his personal story as a father of two military school-age children, and also challenged State Council members to keep striving for improvements to include communication with local schools. The school secretary, registrar, and counselor are often the first point of contact families meet and they are not informed about the Compact. He asked the State Council to also consider extracurricular activities, sports, and spouse employment.
    • Jacie Ragland, SSPI Designee and Kate Wren Gavlak, Commissioner: Clarified the role of the State Council and informed that the Compact is very specific on what it covers, and as such, the role of the State Council is very limited. They both reiterated that the EC is very specific regarding what is covered and is not covered under the Compact, and added that the California Department of Education (CDE) is open to discussing policies outside the realm of the Compact and including that content on the CDE Compact Web site.
    • Kate Wren Gavlak, Commissioner: Explained the role of the sports federations in mitigating issues with sports. She also acknowledged Col Richie’s petition for increased communication, noting that there are still gaps between the state and local levels. Kate informed that the SSPI sends out an annual letter to districts. She emphasized the importance of educating families on EC law language that defines what’s covered and not covered under the Compact.
    • Jacie Ragland, SSPI Designee: Provided Kelli May an opportunity to introduce newly appointed Superintendent Jesse Najera whose appointment fills the vacant superintendent position representing a high concentration of military children on the State Council.
      • Kelli May, DOD Representative: Provided background regarding the state requirement for the position and introduced Mr. Jesse Najera, Superintendent of the SVUSD.
      • Superintendent Jesse Najera: Thanked State Council members, participants, spouses, and the host of the meeting, and provided background information about the SVUSD.

Approval of Previous Meeting Minutes

  • Silvia Crowder, Military Family Education Liaison: Made a motion to approve the minutes from the November 7, 2017, California State Council General Business Meeting; the motion was seconded by Jacie Ragland, SSPI Designee. The State Council voted unanimously to approve the minutes from the November 7, 2017, meeting.

Commissioner’s Update

  • Kate Wren Gavlak, Commissioner: Reported on the National Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission (MIC3) updates.
    • The Executive Committee has proposed a dues increase of $0.15 per active duty military child per year and an increase of the floor (from $2,000 to $2,300 per year) and ceiling (from $60,000 to $69,000 per year) for state dues owed to the MIC3. This would increase California dues by $8,700 per year.
    • The next National MIC3 meeting is set for October 17-18, 2018, in Cleveland, Ohio.
    • Clarified the national rules for state councils to appoint at least one DOD representative on each state council.
    • Kate Wren Gavlak, Commissioner: Followed up on the recommendation of requesting one DOD representative for each service branch represented on the State Council, and asked if the DOD personnel identified had received their appointment letters. They all responded no they had not received their appointment letters.
      • Kelli May, DOD Representative: Clarified that there is a DOD Instruction that mandates the requirement and provides that all DOD representatives on state councils are not to be considered members of the councils, but official DOD representatives communicating and representing the interests of DOD (with an ex-officio, non-voting role).

Non-ICEOMC Topics of Discussion

  • Kelli May, DOD Representative: Led the discussion on non-compact related issues, and provided an update on the Military Student Identifier, Remote Enrollment (SB 455 – Newman), and Educational Stability for Military Children (AB 2949 – Gloria). She also provided information on Teacher Credentialing (AB 2285 – O’Donnell).
  • There was a question from a participant regarding who to contact to receive information about non-Compact related legislation and policies. Jacie Ragland, SSPI Designee suggested the CDE Web site as an option for providing updates and information on military resources. Kelli May and Kelly Frisch, DOD Representatives, can also serve as a resource.
  • Multiple meeting participants provided input on the topic of increasing awareness of military related policies and demographics:
    • Attending county and district meetings
    • Community collaborative groups of military support organizations
    • Military Student Identifier with Impact Aid Survey
    • Identifying students in isolated areas
    • Need to clarify “uniformed services” on registration and Impact Aid forms
    • Need for districts to provide additional staff trainings on the Military Student Identifier
    • Need to provide samples of registration cards to districts
  • Jacie Ragland, SSPI Designee: Invited participants to share registration form templates with Kelli May and Kelly Frisch, DOD Representatives to post on CDE Web site.
    • Kelli May, DOD Representative: Mentioned that she is assisting CDE on revamping the Compact Web page and will include a section for districts with registration templates and information on state policies.
  • Kate Wren Gavlak, Commissioner: Suggested engagement with the CA School Boards Association in order to disseminate sample policies.
  • Kelli May, DOD Representative: Suggested working with the CDE statistician to disseminate guidance for districts to implement the Military Student Identifier. Jacie Ragland, SSPI Designee volunteered to facilitate this meeting and discussion.

Status on Appointment of Assembly Member to State Council

  • Jacie Ragland, SSPI Designee: Reported that Assembly Member Josh Newman has been appointed to fill the Assembly Member seat on the State Council.
    • Aaron Skaggs, State Senator Josh Newman’s Designee: Introduced himself.

Public Comments

The State Council accepted public comments from Mrs. Lilia Blair:

  • Mrs. Lilia Blair, Marine Corps spouse and mother of three military children provided the following comments:
    • Children attended 19 different schools
    • The challenges her family has faced are similar to many other families of all branches in her experience.
    • Challenges:
      • Trying to get unofficial transcripts
      • Getting appointments with school counselors to review transcripts and select courses
      • Missing school tryouts
      • Receiving comparable gifted and special education services
      • Transferring within the state
      • School/district awareness of the Compact requirements
    • Participant discussion:
      • Jacie Ragland, SSPI Designee: Encouraged families experiencing similar issues with implementation of the Compact to contact the Kate Wren Gavlak, Commissioner for resolution as there are districts that have a history of not complying.
        • If there is an action whereby a school district is not in compliance, this commission has resources and the CDE attorney to leverage on behalf of the Compact.
      • Kate Wren Gavlak, Commissioner: Stated that schools are required to accept unofficial transcripts and enroll students immediately. She also stated that the State Council has filed against a school districts in the past.
      • Mrs. Lilia Blair reiterated that families need to get the information on the Compact.
      • Allison Hsieh, Governor’s Council Representative: Asked how families find out about the Compact. What are people finding when they search “Interstate Compact”? How do families receive more support if they are turned away?
      • Kelli May, DOD Representative: Provided that there is an established chain of command for resolving Compact issues, which is on the CDE Web site for the Compact. The Navy and Marine Corps also have a chain of command for SLOs to elevate non-resolved issues to the Regional School Liaisons to address or elevate to the Commissioner.
      • Jacie Ragland, SSPI Designee: Informed that the State Council has a Military Family Education Liaison Silvia Crowder, who can also assist families experiencing problems.
      • Kelli May, DOD Representative: Asked Mrs. Lilia Blair if she utilized the Marine Corps’ Exceptional Family Member Program Special Education lawyer. Mrs. Lilia Blair responded that she was not helpful in her situation.
      • Ida Humphrey, LA Air Force Base SLO: Stated that LA County Office of Education has a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with all 83 school districts that provides means to support military students.
      • Kelli May, DOD Representative: Expressed interest in pursuing this option in San Diego, San Bernardino, Riverside, and Orange Counties.
      • There were conflicting messages from council members regarding applicability of the Compact with regard to INTRASTATE (versus INTERSTATE) military transfers. (This issue will be formally addressed as a follow-up).

The State Council accepted public comments from Ms. Debbie Nichols:

  • Ms. Debbie Nichols, grandparent guardian of military children and founder of a military collaborative group in Orange County:
    • Became guardian of two school aged children when their parents deployed.
    • School was uneducated about the needs of military students, but was willing to help.
    • She wanted to do more, so she started the Military Children’s Collaborative Group.
    • Met with Secretary Duncan’s Office at the Department of Education
    • Research shows that military kids are susceptible to great risks, but also show great resilience if given the right resources.
    • There are categories of challenges experienced by military children.
    • Her organization has created a mobile application for military teens that was developed by the University of Pittsburgh to assist in transitions and military life.

State Council Member Comments

  • Kelli May, DOD Representative: Thanked the State Council and participants, and provided amplifying information on AB 2285.
  • Aaron Skaggs, State Senator Josh Newman’s Designee: Thanked the State Council and expressed Assembly Member Newman’s desire to attend future meeting.

Quarterly Meeting Schedule

  • The next meeting of the State Commission was tentatively set for October 23, 2018, at CDE in Sacramento.

Closing Remarks

  • Jacie Ragland, SSPI Designee: Thanked the State Council members and participants, and stated that there is much work to do to continue improving implementation and communication.


  • Kate Wren Gavlak, Commissioner: Adjourned the meeting at 11:03 a.m.
Questions: Pete Callas | | 916-319-0669 
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, June 9, 2021