This afternoon, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona held a virtual roundtable with military- connected students who are in schools near military installations around the globe. The conversation comes in April, which marks the Month of the Military Child, when our nation pays tribute to the resilience and tenacity of military children.
The students in the roundtable ranged from Pre-K to 12th grade. They shared their personal experiences with the Secretary and provided feedback on ways the education leaders could make their learning experience smoother.
Secretary Cardona listened as students shared their stories:
“The purpose of this round table is for me, as the Secretary of Education, just to listen, to listen to what's working and what you wish could happen, so that we can make sure that we're supporting our military connected students. We’re indebted to you and not a day goes by where I don’t appreciate the sacrifices that are being made for the freedom that I enjoy.”
One by one the students shared some of the challenges they face as military children. Some of these included, the struggle of socialization, different standards from one state to another, and many felt the pressure of having one parent deployed. They also reiterated the need for school leaders to have a little more patience with them because they average a move to a new school three-to-four times during a five-year period.
“One way our school helps military students is by having a military student ambassador welcome the new student. This helps ease some of the socialization stress we face from going from one school to another in such a short period of time,” said Elizabeth, a 12th grader at Knob Noster High School in Missouri.
Cardona closed the roundtable reaffirming his commitment to the military children.
“We have to make sure we’re making things as easy as possible for you to get your education and remove barriers that might exist,” he said. “Not only do you have more to do because you are military-connected, whether it’s the constant moving or learning a new a curriculum, there’s so much more on your plate and you’re handling it with so much grace. I’m really proud to have been part of this conversation.”
There are over 2 million active duty, National Guard, Reserve and children of veterans who did not make the choice to serve, but live each day supporting their brave parents.