No Child Left Behind (NCLB), the 2001 federal education law, has changed the landscape of military recruitment throughout the country. Buried deep in NCLB was a provision (9528) about military recruitment. For the first time in history, the federal government is threatening to deny federal education funding to an entire state if any school refuses to release student contact information to the military or let military recruiters in their doors. NCLB has three parts:
  1. Students contact information: Schools are required to release student directory information – Name, phone number, home address – of students (In many cases, only 11th and 12th grade students). Information cannot be released until students and parents have had ample time to opt out of having their information released.
  2. Student Privacy Protection and Notification: Schools must notify student and parents of their right to keep their information private from military recruiters. Opt Out forms may be signed by either students or parents. Opt Out deadlines are usually in the Fall. Make sure you find out when your schools deadline is.
  3. Equal Access: NCLB requires schools to give military recruiters “the same access to secondary school students as is provided generally to post secondary educational institutions (colleges or universities) or to prospective employees of those students.” Recruiters should not receive preferential access.
Opt out of No Child Left Behind See our Palm Card: No Student Left Unrecruited? (2009, English and Spanish) for more information. Many educators, students, and parents have reported that United States Military recruiters are using heavy-handed tactics to harass students, violate their privacy rights, and target poor students and students of color in schools. To help prevent these violations, students must opt out of both the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) recruiter access provision and the Joint Advertising Market Research and Studies program (JAMRS) database. This pamphlet seeks to help students, parents, educators, and advocates understand their rights and obligations when it comes to military recruitment. It also provides two detachable forms to help students opt out of recruiting databases and keep their information private from recruiters. The pamphlet is available in both English and Spanish. For copies of this know your rights palm card please contact