AU officers’ objective to develop K-12 public military education

At the Association of Defense Communities (ADC) National Summit, military officials approached on the issue about collaborating with communities to aid K-12 public education for military-related students in Washington.

The chief staff of Air Force, Gen. David Goldfein, mentioned this at the summit:

“As I visit installations, the number one quality of life issue for Airmen with children is the quality of the schools. 

They’ll say ‘hey, Chief, you can deploy me, you can send me to tough locations, you can make me live in small rural communities…we’re in! But once you start affecting the quality of our children’s education, that’s when we’re going to make difficult decisions.’”

In the works of army service, members aim to have the driving force to transition by adding students into their routine. However, it requires to deal with challenges that it may entail as Gen. Goldfein continued:

“As we make future basing decisions…we’re going to start at some of those quality of life issues because of retention.  Airmen are not going to stay in the United States Air Force I’m moving them between school systems that are all over the map.” 

Gen. Goldfein further assures that “all of the investment that you make in a quality school systems…is well made.”

Air University (AU) chair of the K-12 education team, Dr. Brian Selmeski, supported this as the AU talked about the ‘The Increasing Importance of School Quality in Military Basing’ during the ADC summit.

“Public schools belong to their communities, and only they can ensure long-term solutions that will benefit all children.

We aim to be a catalyst and facilitator for that process. Simultaneously, we are pursuing near-term efforts to provide more military-affiliated families with more high-quality public educational options for their children.”

It was emphasized that the goal wasn’t only for the military but also to make it “an attractive option for military families” as AU chief officer, Col. Jeffrey Donnithorne, have said:

“Air University’s particular challenge comes from our need to recruit a high-quality faculty, both military and civilian, as well as military students.

We want to make coming to Montgomery an attractive option for military families. The university is excited to be a part of these important conversations across the River Region, as we seek to improve options for military-affiliated families—and eventually improving options for every family in the area.”