JOHNSON, CONNERS, TUCKER & DIEGNAN BILL TO ALLOW CHILDREN OF ACTIVE DUTY MILITARY TO STAY IN SAME SCHOOL CONTINUES ADVANCING

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly members Gordon M. Johnson, Jack Conners, Cleopatra Tucker and Patrick J. Diegnan Jr. that would allow the children of reservists or National Guard members called to active duty to remain in the same school district regardless of active duty relocations continues 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.”

“Providing active duty reservists and guard members with an extra bit of stability at home goes a long way,” said Conners (D-Camden), the Assembly Military and Veterans’ Affairs 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.”

“This is the right thing to do for the children of those who devote themselves to defending out freedom,” said Tucker (D-Essex). “It also helps promote a stable environment for these children, which can only help with their education.”

“Children, especially those with parents in the military, need a stable educational environment to succeed, so this bill is a step in the right direction,” said Diegnan (D-Middlesex), the Assembly education chairman. “This bill is both pro-education and pro-military service.”

Under the 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.

The bill was recently approved 78-0 by the Assembly and now goes to the Senate Education Committee for more consideration.

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