Diegnan Bill to Allow Students Remain in School District Attended Prior to Homelessness Caused by Terrorism or Natural Disaster Clears Assembly

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrat Patrick Diegnan to permit students made homeless by act of terrorism or natural disaster to attend tuition-free the school district in which they resided prior to being homeless for two school years after the event received final legislative approval in the Assembly on Monday.

Students who have lost their homes as a result of a terrorist act or a natural disaster, such as 2012’s Hurricane Sandy, should not be forced to change schools,” said Diegnan (D-Middlesex). “This common sense legislation will provide those young victims the security of being able to continue attending the schools in their home town.”

The bill (A-4924) would allow a student who moves from one school district to another as a result of being homeless due to an act of terrorism or natural disaster, to continue to enroll in the school district in which the parent last resided prior to becoming homeless for up to two full school years.

“This legislation gives families who have experienced either one of these tragedies the ability to continue provide some sense of normalcy for their children by maintaining school districts,” Diegnan said. “The world has changed since 911 and we must do what we can to ensure stability in a child’s education.”

The bill provides that for a two-year period, a student, whose family’s home was destroyed, will be able to continue attending school in the district tuition free. In addition transportation will be provided.

The bill was approved 74-0. It was released by the Assembly Education Committee on January 7.