Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children

Ohio is committed to assisting military-connected youth as they transition in and out of the state. Military families face additional challenges when they transition between duty stations or are activated from the National Guard or Reserve. Some barriers include the ability to enroll military-connected students in a timely manner and transferring credits for high school graduation. To address this, Ohio signed on to the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children in 2009 to remove barriers to educational success because of frequent moves and deployment of their parents. The compact has been adopted by all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the Department of Defense Education Activity. 

Compact Provisions

The Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military provides consistency across states to avoid conflict between schools in both sending and receiving states to ease the transition of the military-connected student. The Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission (MIC3) is the organization that manages the compact.  

Student Eligibility

The compact applies to the children of service members under the following conditions:

Compact Rules

The compact contains four articles that sending and receiving states must follow. The Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission has the complete compact rules. The information below includes a summary of the rules contained in the compact rules.


Article IV: Transfer of Education Records and Enrollment

  • Unofficial or Hand Carried Records: Schools and districts in Ohio shall enroll and appropriately place a military-connected student if the family brings unofficial records. The placement of the student is temporary pending the receipt of official education records that confirm placement.
  • Official Education Records: Districts will request records from the sending school.  The sending school has 10 business days to furnish official records to the receiving school.
  • Immunizations: Transferring military-connected students have 30 calendar days from the date of enrollment to obtain all required immunizations.
  • Kindergarten Entrance Age: A student arriving in an Ohio school shall be allowed to continue their enrollment in their assigned grade from their sending state. This includes kindergarten, even if there is a difference in the entrance age to start kindergarten. For this to apply, the student must have an active enrollment in their previous school.  

See the Enrolling New Students in Active-Duty Military Families web page for more information about enrollment options for students transferring into an Ohio school from an active-duty family. 

Article V: Placement and Attendance

  • Course Placement: Ohio districts shall initially place a military-connected student in courses based on their previous enrollment and assessment data. The course placement includes, but is not limited to, Honors, International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement, vocational, technical, and career pathway courses. The Ohio school may perform evaluations to ensure the proper placement of the student.
  • Program Placement: Schools in Ohio shall initially place a military-connected student in programs based on their previous enrollment and assessment data. The program placement includes, but is not limited to, Gifted and English learner programs. The Ohio school may perform evaluations to ensure the proper placement of the student.
  • Placement Flexibility: Local schools and districts have the flexibility to waive prerequisites or other preconditions for placement in courses or programs.
  • Special Education Services: Districts in Ohio that are receiving a student with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) shall initially provide comparable services to that student, including extended school year services when applicable.  Schools will make reasonable accommodations and modifications if the student has an existing 504 plan. Ohio schools may perform further evaluations to ensure appropriate placement and services. Due to the high mobility of military-connected students, districts should ensure timely and expedited evaluations and eligibility determinations. Military families can receive support for family members with special needs through the Exceptional Family Member Program.
  • Absence as Related to Deployment Activities: Military-connected students shall be granted additional excused absences to visit their parent or guardian if the service member has been called up for active duty or is about to, or just returned from deployment to a combat zone or combat support posting. The additional excused absences are at the discretion of the superintendent or head of school. 

Article VI: Eligibility

  • Eligibility for Enrollment: A custody order, special power of attorney, or other applicable document relative to the guardianship of a child of a military family shall be sufficient for the purposes of enrollment. If a transitioning military-connected student resides with non-custodial parent or guardian who lives outside the district they are enrolled, the school is prohibited from charging tuition. The student may continue to attend the school of residence of the custodial parent. Transportation to the district of residence is the responsibility of the family.
  • Eligibility for Extracurricular Participation: Districts receiving a military-connected student shall facilitate the opportunity for the student to be included in extracurricular activities, regardless of application deadlines. Consult the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s Transfer Bylaw Resource Center

Article VII: Graduation

  • Waiver of Course Work: A district in Ohio may waive specific courses for graduation if a student has satisfactorily completed similar course work in another state. If the waiver is denied, the district shall provide an alternative means of completing coursework so graduation may occur on time. Districts may also waive additional requirements such as graduation projects, community service hours, or other local requirements.
  • End-of-Course Exams: An Ohio school will accept the exit or end-of-course exam score from the receiving state if there is sufficient evidence the student achieved a passing score on the sending state’s exam. Students eligible for the compact's provisions may be exempt from Ohio's graduation assessment requirements if they met the sending state's graduation requirement for the course. 
  • Transfers During Senior Year: If a military-connected student transfers during their senior year and is not able to meet Ohio graduation requirements and all alternatives have been considered, an Ohio district may request a diploma from the district that student transferred from. They must still meet the graduation requirements from the sending district.   

For more information about Ohio’s graduation requirements and questions about transfer students, visit the Transfer Students and Graduations Requirements page. This video summarizes how the compact applies to graduation.

Last Modified: 5/6/2024 2:28:43 PM