MIC3 Step-by-Step Checklist-Resolve School Issues with the Interstate Compact

This resource shows you specific steps to take to resolve school issues for your child, using the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children.  It gives you contact information for people who can help you with different situations covered by the Compact. 

The Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children (“the Compact”) is an agreement among all 50 States and the District of Columbia to address certain school transition issues for military children consistently, from State to State. It’s often known by the acronym MIC3 (“mick-three”), which stands for Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission, after the commission responsible for designing it and getting it passed as legislation. The Compact applies to a student if he or she is a school-aged child enrolled in kindergarten through 12th grade, when their parent is a(n):

  • Active-duty member of the uniformed services, including members of the National Guard and Reserve on active-duty orders (Title 10)
  • Member or veteran for one year following medical discharge or retirement
  • Member who died on active duty, for one year after the death
  • Uniformed member of the Commissioned Corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and United States Public Health Services (USPHS)

What Does the Compact Helps With?

The Compact provides uniform policy guidance for how States respond to the most common challenges highly mobile military families experience, including:

  1. Temporarily accepting unofficial school records for enrollment and conditional placement
  2. Requiring schools to transfer official school records within ten (10) business days with adaptations in specific situations
  3. Starting ages for kindergarten and first grade
  4. Continuing Special Education, Accommodations and Modifications following a move
  5. Waiving State-specific course requirements to avoid repeating courses
  6. Getting the right program or course placement
  7. Accepting specific testing alternatives in place of those required for graduation in the receiving state
  8. Allowing a student to complete their diploma through the sending school while finishing their education at the receiving school
  9. Requiring that schools make a reasonable effort to ensure that eligible students can take part in extra-curricular activities
  10. Excusing absences related to deployment activities

What are My Responsibilities as a Parent?

Make sure you have completed your responsibilities under the Compact before you try to apply it to your student’s situation.

  1. Gather and provide a copy of your student’s basic document package, including:
  2. Birth certificate
  3. Shot record (immunizations)
  4. Letter or transcript from the sending school showing attendance, academic information, and grade placement
  5. Official military orders
  6. Family Care Plan or proof of guardianship if the child lives with another family member or legal guardian
  7. Add any extra records related to a specific issue. If your child has an Individualized Education Program (IEP), or a Section 504 or ADA Title II plan, include this in the documents package.  Keep paper copies of the plan or program, service agreements, evaluations and progress reports, and records from non-school sources.
  8. Make copies of all documents and never give away your last copy. Hand-carry the entire documents package to the receiving school.
  9. Read the Compact to understand what it does and does not do.  The Parent Guide provides an overview of the Compact and the Compact Rules contain the full policy document to guide how the Compact applies to a situation.
  10. Know who to contact for help resolving a conflict with an issue covered by the Compact. (See Steps 2 and 3, below)

Step-by-Step Suggestions for Using the Compact

Step 1: Try to resolve the issue at the school level. 

Contact your child’s school principal or other top-level school administrator.  You can usually find email information on your child’s school or district website, or you can call the school’s front office.

Keep a written record of what happens. To have a record, either contact by email, or if you speak to them in person or by phone, send a follow-up email or letter (keep a copy of the letter). When you get a response, keep the response email or letter. Keep all emails or letters about this issue in the folder or binder where you keep all your child’s school records and information.

Here are some things to include in the letter or email:

  • Describe the issue
  • State that your child is covered by the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children
  • Describe what you have already done (provided documents, called the school, etc.)
  • Ask the school to resolve the issue
  • Ask for a response by email or by letter
  • Attach a copy of or link to the Compact rules document
  • Attach copies of your child’s basic document package and any additional information needed

Step 2: If the issue is not fixed by the school’s principal or top administrator, contact either your Parent Center (for issues about special education, supports and services, Section 504, or ADA Title II Plan) or School Liaison for help. They are familiar with the process and can connect with the most useful staff to resolve your child’s situation.

Parent Centers are federally funded organizations in each State, District of Columbia, and US Territories. They work with families of infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities, birth to 26. They will provide you with state-specific training and information, so you can resolve issues relating to your child’s disabilities. Parent Centers can help you whether your child attends a public school or a Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) school.

School Liaisons connect students and families with information, resources, and people. They are the point of contact between an installation’s military families and local schools and school districts. They are experts in the complications that can come up during a PCS to a new duty station.

Step 3: If the issue continues despite involving your Parent Center and/or School Liaison, contact your MIC3 State Commissioner.  The State Commissioner is responsible for knowing their state’s compact statute.  They assist in informal dispute resolution between military families, school districts, and others involved.  To locate your State Commissioner’s contact information, click on your state in the interactive map

More Assistance and Information:

Military Onesource searchable database (School Liaison contact information)

The MIC3 Parent Toolkit is a downloadable pdf with all the links you need related to using the Compact.

Learn about the role of School Liaisons

MIC3 contact form to request help with a school issue

Find Compact legislation in your state

OSEP (Office of Special Education Programs) Letter to State Directors of Special Education on Ensuring a High-Quality Education for Highly Mobile Children (Policy Support 22-02)