Military Wives Address Congressional Committee
Military families face unique problems when faced with a Down syndrome diagnosis. We move every two to three years, making it difficult to work with new school districts and find new doctors. We are often put on a waiting list for care and struggle with the vastly different practices of state school districts.
The Department of Defense assists families with the Exceptional Member Family Program (EFMP). Recently, two brave military spouses told their stories to a Congressional Committee about how EFMP is failing their families. There hasn’t been a hearing on this subject since 2012. Their testimony was so compelling there will now be quarterly updates and town halls on the subject.
Also addressed was the broader issue of school funding for special education. Oftentimes school districts “wait out” military families and deny services because they know we will move. Impact Aid for military children flows to the NC school systems and we want to make sure the aid that is supposed to go for military children with special needs is being used for special education and inclusion programs.
According to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction “North Carolina is home to the 4th largest military population in the US, including more than 52,000 school age children of active duty military, Guard and Reserve.” https://www.dpi.nc.gov
NCDSA is a critical resource for NC military families to be able to reach out about resources in the local area. We appreciate NCDSA’s support of our transient population.
View the full two-hour Congressional testimony
Submitted by Rebecca Emerson, Lt. Col. US Army