Houghtaling and Downey Bill to Permit Advance School Enrollment for Military Dependents Prior to Relocation Passed by Assembly Committee

To ease the transition for military families ordered to relocate to New Jersey, Assembly Democrats Eric Houghtaling (D-Monmouth) and Joann Downey (D-Monmouth) sponsored a measure that would allow members of the armed forces with relocation orders to enroll their children in a school district prior to moving.

The bill (A-5694) would require a school district to waive any proof of residency requirements until after the service member’s family has been relocated within the school district. This would allow the service member’s children to be fully enrolled and registered for classes long before their first day of school.

Upon the bill’s committee success, Assembly sponsors Houghtaling and Downey released the following joint statement:

“Our military families undergo a great deal of stress when they receive relocation orders, and strict school registration requirements only add to their burden. Not allowing service members to enroll their children in their anticipated school district until they physically move puts those children at risk of missing important deadlines, which can have serious repercussions such as summer school or delayed graduation.

“Advance enrollment is a simple solution to this issue that will ensure a smooth transition for children of military families by giving them the benefit of knowing what school they will be attending and what their class schedule will be prior to their move.”

The bill now heads to the Speaker for further consideration.