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State Support for Military Families With Special Education Needs


Key Message

Highly mobile children, including military children, are more likely to experience recurring educational disruptions and challenges, particularly those who need access to special education and related services. States can assist by streamlining processes to ensure timely establishment of comparable special education services upon relocation and reducing burdens associated with due process proceedings.


Many military children with special education needs are disadvantaged in accessing needed services in a timely manner due to the frequency with which their families move. Children from military families change location, on average, every two to three years. States have enacted improvements to state education statutes to build upon existing requirements provided within the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.


According to a 2021 study of military parents raising children with special education needs, 31% indicated that their children with disabilities went without services for more than 60 days following a military move. And 42% reported that their individualized education plan was not implemented once they arrived at their new duty location.

State Policymakers

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