ARLINGTON, Va., Dec. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Coalition for Public School Options (NCPSO) today applauded Congress for passing the FY12 National Defense Authorization Bill (H.R. 1540), which includes an important provision ensuring graduates of online public schools have equal opportunity to enlist in the military.
The President is expected to sign the bill into law soon.
NCPSO President Briana LeClaire said, "We thank our outspoken parent leaders for all their effort advocating that Congress address the military recruitment rules for online school graduates. This was an important priority for NCPSO and for the growing number of parents choosing to enroll their children in online schools across the U.S., especially military families. We are grateful for the many Congressional leaders who championed this issue."
Although students who graduate from online schools earn high school degrees equivalent to those in traditional schools, military policy had previously classified them in a lower tier on par with a G.E.D. The policy, created years before online schools existed, dramatically reduced the opportunity for online school graduates to enlist, and created significant barriers for qualified students who wanted serve in the armed forces. H.R. 1540 ensures that students who choose new state-approved schools such as online and blended schools are treated the same for purposes of recruitment and enlistment in the military.
Over the course of the past year, NCPSO worked with other prominent national organizations and leaders in digital learning to educate Congress and advocate for this updated provision. NCPSO led a strong nationwide grassroots advocacy campaign generating phone calls, emails and letters to Members of Congress. The military recruitment provision was a top priority for NCPSO during its annual meeting in Washington, DC. NCPSO parents and children met face-to-face with Members of Congress and key staff to advocate that Congress enact this provision into law.
NCPSO applauds its own parent leaders, state parent groups, the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL), the National Association of Public Charter Schools (NAPCS), and online learning providers K12 Inc. and Connections Education for their efforts to ensure these rules were appropriately changed.
NCPSO would also like to thank the many members of Congress who were integral to the success of this bill, including Congressmen Duncan Hunter, John Kline, Rob Andrews, Joe Wilson, and Jared Polis, and Senators Patty Murray, Jim Webb, John McCain, and Mark Udall.
The National Coalition for Public School Options is an alliance of parents that supports and defends parents' rights to access the best public school options for their children. The Coalition supports the creation of public school options, including charter schools, online schools, magnet schools, tuition scholarship programs, open enrollment policies and other innovative education programs. Additionally, we advocate for free and equal access without restrictions to these public schools for all children.
SOURCE The National Coalition for Public School Options (NCPSO)