Purple Star Programs.
Numerous states have established Purple Star Programs (programs) to address educational, social, and emotional difficulties that children of military parents can experience resulting from frequent school transfers. These programs often designate schools as military friendly if they demonstrate a commitment to students and families connected to the nation's military and meet other criteria, such as designating school staff as a point of contact for military students and families, and establishing a website page with resources for military families.
All 50 states are members of the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children (Compact). The purpose of the Compact, which applies only to public schools, is to remove barriers to educational success imposed on children of military families because of frequent moves and deployment by their parents.
Each member state, either through the creation of a state council or the use of an existing body or board, is required to provide for the implementation of the Compact. In Washington, the Interstate Compact Council (State Council) has been established to fulfill those obligations.
Among other obligations, the Compact requires the State Council to appoint or designate a military family education liaison to assist military families and the state in implementing the Compact.
Creation and Issuance of Purple Star Designation.
The Purple Star designation (designation) is created to recognize school districts that demonstrate educational and social-emotional supports to students of military service members as they face transitions to a new school. Beginning in 2024, the designation is to be issued every two years and school districts that earn the designation will receive a purple star recognition to display on site.
The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) may collaborate with a state agency or nonprofit organization that has experience serving the needs of a diverse kindergarten through grade 12 population to establish and administer the designation.
The OSPI must make available on its website an application for a school district to submit for consideration to receive the designation. The application must:
The OSPI's website must also describe the criteria used to review the applications and determine which school districts will receive the designation.
Designation Eligibility—Required and Optional Activities.
To be considered for the designation, a school district must maintain a dedicated page on its website featuring resources for military families. The school district must also have a staff point of contact for military students and families that:
To receive the designation, a school district must also complete one or more of following optional activities:
July 23, 2023