An important concern for military parents, like most parents, is the quality of education available to their children. Military families are typically reassigned every three years and have little discretion in choosing a new assignment. Military parents may also have difficulty acquiring school information or shaping schooling alternatives because they are transient and not fully integrated into the local community. Military children may also face special problems in adjusting to different schools and curriculums, making new friends, and coping with the absence of a military parent during deployments.
These schooling issues may have important consequences for the Department of Defense (DoD). First, when military children have problems settling into a new school, it creates stress for the family and affects the ability of the service member to settle into a new military unit. Second, poor local schools may create disruptions in the assignment process. Members are reluctant to accept some assignments because the local schools have a poor reputation. Alternatively, members choose distant housing options that offer better schools, but long commutes may hurt productivity and isolate the family from the local military community. These strains can contribute to workplace problems or a decision of the member to leave military service. Finally, schooling conflicts are frequent sources of tension between military bases and the local community. Military parents may be frustrated by the focus and direction of local schools, and the school district may be reluctant or fiscally unable to respond to the demands of the transient military families.