Measure Permits Children to Remain in Same District Regardless of Where Parent is Deployed on Active Duty
Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Gordon M. Johnson, Wayne DeAngelo, Bob Andrzejczak, Raj Mukherji and Eliana Pintor Marin to 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, has been signed into 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 retired 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, will help mitigate that stress.”
Under the law (A-1667), 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 may 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 will not be responsible for providing transportation for a child who lives outside of the district.
“Providing active duty reservists and guard members with an extra bit of stability at home goes a long way,” said DeAngelo (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “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 our freedom,” said Andrzejczak (D-Cape May/Atlantic/Cumberland), an Army veteran who served in Iraq. “It also helps promote a stable environment for these children, which can only help with their education.”
“Transferring schools with each new military assignment can be hard on children,” said Mukherji (D-Hudson), a former Marine Corps Reserve Sergeant. “This law helps military parents to maintain stability in their child’s school life while continuing to serve their country.”
“For children with parents in the military, transitioning to a new school can be a stressor that threatens academic and social progress,” said Pintor Marin (D-Essex). “This law will help prevent the possibility of a deployment interfering with a child’s education.”
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 measure received unanimous approval from the legislature before it was signed into law on Tuesday.