Military to Expand Role in Running Public High Schools
Rise of Military Schools
Junior ROTC is an alternative form of high school education in the U.S. that's often focused on students in urban and low-income communities. In 1980, Franklin Military Academy opened in Richmond, Virginia, as the first public military high school in the country. The U.S. Marine Corps has since led the charge to expand the network of military-based high schools and in 2009, Congress passed policies to increase the Junior ROTC units from 3,400 to 3,700 over the next 11 years. Source (3501 unite as of 2022)
With financial and political support of democratic leaders, particularly Raum Emanuel, the military will add to its controversial Marine run high school with high schools for the other services: Chicago Military Academy-Bronzeville (Army), Carver Military Academy (Army), Phoenix Military Academy (Army) and Rickover Academy (Navy). Marine Military Academy is the nation’s first public Marine Military Academy. It is an astonishing policy decision made with little debate or consideration of its implications or propriety. Rather than improve our public schools, leaders will embraced charters schools and other gimmicks that distract from the overall problems affecting the majority of students. Militarizing public schools is only the last of these gimmicks and stands as a great departure from the model of a single uniform education for child.
The U.S. Marine Corps is wooing public school districts across the country, expanding a network of military academies that has grown steadily despite criticism that it's a recruiting ploy.
The Marines are talking with at least six districts — including in suburban Atlanta, New Orleans and Las Vegas — about opening schools where every student wears a uniform, participates in Junior ROTC and takes military classes, said Bill McHenry, who runs the Junior ROTC program for the Marines.
Those schools would be on top of more than a dozen public military academies that have already opened nationwide, a trend that's picking up speed as the U.S. Department of Defense looks for ways to increase the number of units in Junior ROTC, which stands for Reserve Officers Training Corps.
"Many kids in our country don't get a fair shake. Many kids live in war zones. Many kids who are bright and have so much potential and so much to offer, all they need to be given is a chance," McHenry said. "If you look at stats, what we're doing now isn't working."
Last year, Congress passed a defense policy bill that included a call for increasing the number of Junior ROTC units across the country from 3,400 to 3,700 in the next 11 years, an effort that will cost about $170 million, Defense Department spokeswoman Eileen M. Lainez said. The process will go faster by opening military academies, which count as four or more units, McHenry said.
Other military branches also are aiming to increase their presence in school hallways, but the Marines are leading the charge. Source
Public Military Schools Source
These military academies are part of the Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC) program, and are partly funded by the United States Department of Defense. Chicago with six academies has more than any other city, a third of all in the country.
- Marine Academy of Science and Technology (Sandy Hook, New Jersey)
- Oakland Military Institute, College Preparatory Academy (Oakland, California)
- Air Force Academy High School (Chicago, Illinois)
- Bataan Military Academy (Albuquerque, New Mexico)
- Carver Military Academy (Chicago, Illinois)
- Chicago Military Academy (Chicago, Illinois)
- Delaware Military Academy, Navy JROTC(Wilmington, Delaware)
- Fishburne Military School (Waynesboro, Virginia)
- Marine Math and Science Academy (Chicago, Illinois)
- Phoenix Military Academy (Chicago, Illinois)
- Rickover Naval Academy (Chicago, Illinois)
- Cleveland Junior Naval Academy (St. Louis, Missouri)
- Forestville Military Academy (Forestville, Maryland)
- Georgia Military College (Milledgeville, Georgia; coeducational, public but not part of University System of Georgia)
- Franklin Military Academy (Richmond, Virginia) - the country’s first secondary military academy
- Hollywood Hills Military Academy (Hollywood, Florida)
- Kenosha Military Academy (Wisconsin)
- Marine Military Academy
- Philadelphia Military Academy
- Sarasota Military Academy (Sarasota, Florida)
- Toole Military Magnet Academy (Charleston Heights, South Carolina)
Here are some recommended links available to better inform you about Public Military Schools. This is a work in progress and NNOMY will be adding new documents as they are prepared and as policies change that effect enlistment. Check back periodically.
- Thousands of Teens Are Being Pushed Into Military’s Junior R.O.T.C. / New York Times / Dec. 11, 2022
- Sexual misconduct within high school military leadership program worse than previously known, report finds / CNN / November 16, 2022
- Military Academies: New Institutions to Foster Social Mobility (UK) / ResPublica / September 11, 2012
- AlterNet: Public Military Academies: Prep Schools? Or Blatant Recruitment Pools? / Alternet / September 19, 2009
- Mother Jones: Fast Times at Recruitment High / Mother Jones / August 30, 2009
- USA Today: Military-backed public schools on the rise despite protests / USA Today / June 04, 2009
- PBS: Chicago's Military Academies Raise Education Debate / PBS News Hour / Dec. 26, 2007
- Jerry Brown: A Few Good Schools / Education Next / Jerry Brown / July 20, 2006
- Militarizing Youth in Public Education: Observations from a Military-Style Charter School
- The Militarization and Privatization of Public Schools
- Citizen, Student, Soldier: Latina/o Youth, JROTC, and the American Dream / Gina M. Pérez / NYU Press / November 2015