JOHNSON, CONNERS BILL TO ALLOW CHILDREN OF ACTIVE DUTY MILITARY TO STAY IN SAME SCHOOL ADVANCES

Measure Would Permit Children to Remain in Same District Regardless of Where Parent is Deployed on Active Duty

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assemblymen Gordon M. Johnson and Jack Conners that would allow the children of reservists or National Guard members called up to active duty to remain in the same school district regardless of active duty relocations is advancing toward law.

“Being called up to active duty is stressful on everyone, especially for children who are routinely uprooted when their mother or father’s orders come in,” said Johnson (D-Bergen), a Major in the U.S. Army Reserve. “Allowing children of active duty reservists to stay enrolled in the same school, regardless of where their parents are stationed would help mitigate that stress.”

Under the Johnson/Conners bill (A-2200) the child of a member of the New Jersey National Guard or the U.S. Armed Forces Reserve who has been called into active military service would be allowed to remain enrolled in the school district where the family lived prior to being called up, regardless of where the family resides during active service. Affected school districts would not be responsible for providing transportation for the child if he or she lives outside the district.

Following the return of the guard member or reservist to inactive status, the child would be able to complete the current school year before becoming ineligible to remain enrolled, provided the family continues to live outside the district.

“Providing active duty reservists and guard members with an extra bit of stability at home goes a long way,” said Conners (D-Camden), the panel’s chairman. “The last thing our service men and women should have to worry about when they are called upon to go to war is the well-being of their families.”

The bill was recently released by the Assembly Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee and is scheduled for a Thursday floor vote by the Assembly.

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