MONTGOMERY, Ala. — A newly formed group at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama is aiming to improve the education options for military families.

The Montgomery Advertiser reports the group plans to tackle a variety of topics. Among them: Increasing attendance at the on-base school; a streamlined application process for Montgomery’s magnet schools; and more school choice options for military families.

Exploring the possibility of charter schools in the area is part of the discussion.

The group was created about a month ago in response to statistics highlighted in August by Lt. Gen. Anthony Cotton.

Cotton said about 56 percent of airmen in last year's Air War College came to Montgomery without their families. Schools were the No. 1 reason given in surveys to find out why they spent the time apart.

"The reality is, 'If my kids aren't happy, I'm not happy. If I have to try to spend so much time trying to understand how to get them ready and prepared for secondary education, then I'm not doing my mission as far as taking care of you, and making sure that I protect our country'," he said to the attendees.

Cotton also said education in the area affects his ability to attract and retain faculty and service members to the base.

Cotton has signed an official charter to have the working group become a permanent asset on the base.

The state of education in the area is a “quality of life issue that really needs to be at the forefront and we want to be a part of the discussion and solutions,” said Kent Davis, the director of communication and outreach at Air University.

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