A Brief Overview
- This is part of a three-part series on this topic of MIC3, which continues from Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission (MIC3), Part 1: The Impact of MIC3 on Military Families. The third part of the series is Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission (MIC3), Part 3: How MIC3 Protects Academic Progress toward Graduation.
- MIC3 allows military parents to hand-carry “unofficial” (temporary) school records from the sending school to give to the receiving school for enrollment.
- The sending school must provide official records within ten business days of the receiving school’s request.
- If students have not been immunized, they have 30 days from enrollment to get the required shots or receive the first shot in a series.
- If a child was enrolled and attending kindergarten at the sending school, they must be allowed to enroll and continue at the receiving school, regardless of the school’s age requirement.
- A military child can keep going to the school in the school or district they have been attending, even if the person they are living with is in a different school district.
- MIC3 allows flexibility concerning extracurricular activities to include military children even if they can’t meet an application deadline.
The Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission (MIC3, pronounced “mick three”) is the more commonly used name for the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunities for Military Children. MIC3’s rules provide consistent guidelines for how public schools address the most common challenges military-connected students experience during a PCS (permanent change of station, the military’s term for “relocation”). Washington codified MIC3 into state policy as RCW 28A.705.010.
MIC3 seeks to prevent students from losing academic time with enrollment provisions that address:
- Unofficial or hand-carried records.
- Official records and transcripts.
- Immunization requirements.
- Kindergarten and first-grade entrance ages.
Unofficial or Hand-Carried Records
MIC3 allows military parents to hand-carry photocopied or “unofficial” (temporary) school records from the sending school to give to the receiving school. Waiting for the original official transcripts can be time-consuming and not beneficial to the student since receiving official documentation from another state or overseas can take weeks. Under MIC3, the receiving school must use the unofficial records for the child’s enrollment. The unofficial records must include attendance records, academic information, and grade placement (part of the primary documents package).
Official Records and Transcripts
It is the receiving school’s responsibility to immediately request an official set of records (transcripts) from the sending school. The sending school must send out the official records within ten business days, with extensions allowed for school breaks. After school staff return from a break, the official records must be provided within ten business days.
If a child hasn’t already had the immunizations (shots to protect against certain diseases) the receiving school requires, the student has 30 days from enrollment to get the shots. If the child needs a series of shots to be immunized, they must get the first shot within 30 days. The school may require a negative test for tuberculosis, which is not an immunization and, therefore, not covered by MIC3.
Kindergarten and First Grade Entrance Ages
When enrolling a child in school, MIC3 enables them to enter the grade they were in at the sending school. Suppose a child was enrolled and already attending kindergarten at their previous school. In that case, the new school must allow the child to enroll in kindergarten even if the age requirement differs. Suppose the child should be starting first grade. In that case, MIC3 says that if the child completed the previous grade in the sending school (including kindergarten), they could enroll in the next grade at the receiving school, even if the age requirements differ. The letter or transcript from the sending school must show the child’s attendance in kindergarten if the concerns is about kindergarten eligibility.
Regarding eligibility, MIC3 provides guidance on the issues of:
- Special power of attorney with guardianship.
- Extracurricular activities.
Special Power of Attorney with Guardianship
During deployments and other military mobilizations, children of servicemembers may live with another family member, non-custodial parent, or guardian through a Military Family Care Plan. Under MIC3, a military child can keep going to the school in the school or district they have been attending, even if the person they are living with is in a different school district. The school district cannot charge local tuition for living outside the district under these circumstances, except for optional programs offered by the school or district. The person taking care of the child will be responsible for transporting the student to the school while the child resides out-of-district. At enrollment, if not given to the school earlier, the parent or guardian must be provided with the Military Family Care Plan, Special Powers of Attorney, and/or custody orders.
States and local schools can be flexible so military children can be in sports and extracurricular activities, even if the child can’t meet an application deadline, including tryouts, seasonal conditioning, and other prerequisites instituted by the district or team supervisor. The child will still have to meet the eligibility standards for the activity, such as auditioning for sports or a music program. MIC3 requires that school and district programs make “reasonable efforts” to allow military children to participate in extracurricular activities, but this does not include holding open or creating additional spaces. MIC3 does not apply to state athletic associations, like travel teams or sportsman clubs, which are not a part of state or district education systems.
Support with MIC3-Related Issues
Parents can use this Step-by-Step Checklist to resolve issues that fall under the provisions of MIC3. For additional support, parents may contact their School Liaison, Parent Center, or MIC3 State Commissioner. As the parent center of Washington State, PAVE provides training to military-connected families, individuals with disabilities, and professionals through the STOMP program. Parents seeking individualized support may contact PAVE through the Get Help Form.
Learn More about MIC3
This article is part of a three-part series on the topic of MIC3. Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission, Part 1: The Impact of MIC3 on Military Families introduces the scope and purpose of MIC3. This article outlines MIC3’s guidelines for how public schools address challenges related to enrollment and eligibility. Part 3: How MIC3 Protects Academic Progress toward Graduation explores MIC3’s placement, attendance, and graduation provisions.
- Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission (MIC3), Part 1: The Impact of MIC3 on Military Families
- Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission (MIC3), Part 3: How MIC3 Protects Academic Progress toward Graduation
- MIC3 Guide for Parents, School Officials and Public Administrators
- MIC3 Step-by-Step Checklist-Resolve School Issues with the Interstate Compact