The Council of State Governments (CSG), in cooperation with the US Department of Defense (USDoD), drafted the Interstate Compact for Educational Opportunity for Military Children to address some of the educational challenges transitioning children of military families encounter. Through a grant from the USDoD Defense State Liaison Office, CSG convened an advisory group comprised of federal, state, and local officials; as well as national stakeholder organizations representing education groups; and military families to create the interstate agreement. The advisory group developed the model statute language which was promoted by the USDoD as one of their key priorities for military families and adopted by state legislatures within 6 years. This Compact is one of 6 agreements which include all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

While the Compact is not exhaustive in its coverage, it does address the key issues encountered by military families: eligibility, enrollment, placement, and graduation. In addition, the Compact provides for a detailed governance structure at both the state and national levels with built-in enforcement and compliance mechanisms. The goal of the Compact is to replace the widely varying policies affecting transitioning military students. The Compact leverages consistency: It uses a comprehensive approach that provides a consistent policy in every school district and in every state that chooses to join. The Compact addresses key educational transition issues encountered by military families including enrollment, placement, attendance, eligibility, and graduation.

Children of active-duty members of the uniformed services, National Guard and Reserve on active-duty orders, commissioned officers of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Unites States Public Health Service (USPHS), and members or veterans who are medically discharged or retired for one year are eligible for assistance under the Compact. The Compact also covers students of members who perish on active duty for a period of one year following their death.

Policy Areas

  • Military family and dependents
  • Military dependent education
  • Interstate compacts


To request information on any related policy issues or for more information, contact 859-244-8000 or email