from the office of State Senator Judith Zaffirini

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Gabe Valenzuela
(512) 463-0121
November 10, 2005

Veterans Who Sacrificed Own Education Honored by New Texas Law

(AUSTIN) -- Many American veterans gave up their educational dreams when they left high school to serve their country during war. A recently enacted law sponsored by Senator Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, honors these Texans by authorizing school districts to award high school diplomas to those who fought during the World War II, Korean or Vietnam wars and did not complete high school requirements

"This new law pays tribute to veterans who interrupted their education to serve our country," Senator Zaffirini said

House Bill 1058 by Rep. Joe Pickett, D-El Paso, and Zaffirini allows school districts to issue a high school diploma to honorably discharged veterans who served in World War II, Korea or Vietnam and were scheduled to be graduated from high school between 1940 and 1975.

"Some paid the ultimate sacrifice and never came home," Senator Zaffirini added. "This law allows school districts to recognize them by awarding their diplomas posthumously."

A veteran or person acting on behalf of a deceased veteran can submit a diploma application to the school district where the veteran was enrolled in high school. Although the Texas Education Agency is updating the form, a valid application can be obtained at www.tea.state.tx.us/training/CDD-107.pdf.

Ranked fourth in seniority in the 31-member Texas Senate, Senator Zaffirini is vice chair of the Senate Finance Committee and a member of the Legislative Budget Board and of the Senate Committees on Education, Health and Human Services, and International Trade and Relations and Subcommittee on Higher Education.

She has served nine terms, including three as chair, on the Senate Health and Human Services Committee; six terms on the Appropriations Conference Committee that writes the state's budget; seven terms on the Senate Finance Committee; and nine consecutive terms on the Senate Education Committee.

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