Gov. Perry Signs Legislation to Help Children in Military Families
Honors fallen Texas soldiers at Legislative Memorial Ceremony
Gov. Rick Perry today signed Senate Bill (SB) 90, authorizing Texas to join the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children, which helps make school transitions easier for the children of active duty military personnel who move to Texas. The governor also spoke at the Texas Legislative Memorial Ceremony honoring fallen Texas soldiers.
"Not only do military families deal with the challenges of extended time apart due to deployment, they also relocate frequently in support of our nation's defense," Gov. Perry said. "To smooth out the bumps that military dependents hit when they suddenly switch schools, SB 90 provides sensible changes that will enable the children of our hardworking service members to integrate rapidly into their new schools and keep pace academically instead of languishing under miles of red tape."
SB 90 simplifies the transition process between schools by allowing hand-carried transcripts to be honored until official transcripts can be mailed from the sending schools; honoring courses taken at previous schools; and giving students the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities. These provisions are particularly useful in helping military children who transfer mid-year during high school graduate on-time.
The governor was joined by bill authors Sen. Leticia Van de Putte and Rep. Charlie Geren along with military personnel and their families for the signing.
"The Interstate Compact is one small way for us to show our appreciation for the sacrifices made by our military families," Sen. Van de Putte said. "With the passage of SB 90, Texas is sending a clear message that we recognize the sacrifices of our military families and that we are committed to improving their quality of life."
SB 90 enhances state laws currently in place to help ease the transition for students in military families, including providing for the timely transfer of records, appropriate course sequencing, and provisional enrollment until students can obtain immunization records.
"This bill is important to so many because it removes some of the worries military families go through when they relocate bases," Rep. Geren said. "While we can never repay these families for their sacrifice and service to our country, we can help give these students an easier transition when moving to the Lone Star State."
Texas is home to more than 70,000 minor school age dependents of active-duty military personnel, the second largest number of any state. Military families move between postings on a regular basis, with the average military student attending six to nine different school systems between kindergarten and 12th grade, and moving at least twice during high school.