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Thursday, 30th September 2010

New Study Finds GI Junior Scholarships Would Expand Education Options for CA Military Children

New Study Finds GI Junior Scholarships Would Expand Education Options for CA Military Children
Source: Pacific Research Institute

The Pacific Research Institute (PRI), a California-based public policy think tank, released a policy brief on improving education opportunities for school-aged military children in California. GI Junior Scholarships: Expanding Education Options for Children from Military Families in California, by Vicki E. Murray, Ph.D., PRI associate director of Education Studies, and Evelyn B. Stacey, policy fellow, finds that providing military families with school vouchers to allow parents to choose schools that best fit their children’s needs would raise educational achievement and save the state money.

With more than 200,000 Active Duty and Selected Reserve members, California leads the nation in military population. Military children attend an average of six to nine different school systems throughout their elementary and high school years. In addition to the stress of parents being frequently deployed, military children are often forced to make sacrifices in their education as well:

  • Overall, school districts surrounding military bases throughout California have a slightly lower Academic Performance Index (API) than the statewide average.
  • Overall, only about half of students in public schools surrounding California’s 26 military bases score at the “proficient” level in English language and math on the California Standards Test.
  • Barely 14 percent of high school students in those schools on average score college-ready in English on the Early Assessment Program; while just 9 percent score college-ready in math.

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