Governor Pat Quinn today signed a bill into law that eases school transition for military children as their parents move between states on assignment. The legislation will impact approximately 10,000 children in Illinois.
Archived Audio of the Press Conference, Q&A
The new law automatically adds Illinois to the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children, which removes barriers for children of servicemembers in transferring schools, school records, required courses and other school mandates, such as entrance exams, as the result of their parents' frequent moves and/or deployments.
"Children of servicemembers should not have to suffer any interruption of their education because their parents move around while serving our country," said Governor Pat Quinn. "Illinois is proud to join other states in working collectively to make the transitions as seamless as possible for military children."
House Bill 4674 was sponsored by Rep. Thomas Holbrook (D-Belleville) and Sen. Deanna Demuzio (D-Carlinville).
"We applaud the leadership of the Illinois Legislature and Governor Quinn for making the education of military children a priority in the state of Illinois," said Dan Grant, Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs. "This legislation will have a positive impact on children already living in Illinois, and those whose parents will receive assignments to come here."
Virginia Penrod, Acting Deputy Under Secretary of Defense, sent a letter to Governor Quinn commending Illinois for joining the Compact. There are currently 32 states that have signed onto the Interstate Compact.
"As most everyone here today recognizes, servicemembers and their families make many sacrifices in their service of our country," Penrod said. "Because of your action, their children will not be one of them."
Governor Quinn has been a longtime advocate for military families, first calling for the signing of the Interstate Compact as Lt. Governor. Governor Quinn was also joined for the bill signing by General Duncan McNabb, commander, U.S. Transportation Command; Tom Hinton, Office of the Secretary of Defense; Major General William Enyart, Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard and military families, among others.