Today an email call went out to board members to contact their local federal legislators over our disapproval of section 535 of the National Defense Authorization Act of FY2010. I am pasting the section in the post and the readers can see what it reads. The bottom line is the federal government is looking at providing school vouchers to families of military personnel whose children may have to attend a school needing improvement under NCLB. So instead of looking for ways to improve those schools that border our military bases in the US, we just allow military children to attend private schools. If I lived in an area like an urban district which had schools in need of improvement, and I was told my children had to attend that school, but the military children could get vouchers I do believe I would be a little put out!
SEC. 535. STUDY ON OPTIONS FOR EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR DEPENDENT CHILDREN OF MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES WHO DO NOT ATTEND DEPARTMENTOF DEFENSE DEPENDENTS SCHOOLS.
(A) STUDY ON OPTIONS FOR EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES.—
STUDY REQUIRED.—the Secretary of Defense shall, in consultation with the Secretary of Education, conduct a study on options for educational opportunities that are, or may be, available for dependent children of members of the Armed Forces who do not attend Department of Defense dependents’ schools when the public elementary and secondary schools attended by such children are determined to be in need of improvement pursuant to the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (Public Law 110–117).
OPTIONS.—the options to be considered under the study required by paragraph shall include the following:
(B) Education provided by the Department of Defense through the Internet.
(C) Charter schools.
(D) Such other options as the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Secretary of Education, considers appropriate for purposes of the study.
ELEMENTS.—the study required by paragraph shall address the following matters:
(A) The challenges faced by parents in military families in securing quality elementary and secondary education for their children when the public elementary and secondary schools attended by their children are identified as being in need of improvement.
(B) The extent to which perceptions of differing degrees of quality in public elementary and secondary schools in different regions of the United States affect plans of military families to relocate, including relocation pursuant to a permanent change of duty station.
(C) The various reasons why military families seek educational opportunities for their children other than those available through local public elementary and secondary schools.
(D) The current level of student achievement in public elementary and secondary schools in school districts which have a high percentage of students who are children of military families.
(E) The educational needs of children of military families who are required by location to attend public elementary and secondary schools identified as being in need of improvement.
(F) The value and impact of a school voucher or other alternative educational program for military families.
(G) The extent to which the options referred to in paragraph (2) would provide a meaningful option for education for military children when the public elementary and secondary schools attended by such children are determined to be in
need of improvement.
(H) The extent to which the options referred to in paragraph (2) would improve the quality of education available for students with special needs, including students with learning disabilities and gifted students.
(I) Such other matters as the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Secretary of Education, considers appropriate for purposes of the study.
(b) REPORT.—Not later than March 31, 2010, the Secretary of Defense shall submit to the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate and the Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives a report on the study required by subsection (b). The report shall include the following:
(1) A description of the results of the study.
(2) Such recommendations for legislative or administrative action as the Secretary of Defense considers appropriate in light of the results of the study