From the Office of State Senator Leticia Van de Putte

For Immediate Release
November 12, 2008
Contact: Tiffany Champion, (210) 733-6604

Senator Van de Putte and Representative King file bill to help military children

(AUSTIN) -- Today, State Senator Leticia Van de Putte (D-San Antonio) and State Representative Susan King (R-Abilene) filed Senate Bill 90 and House Bill 174, the "Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children".

Most military children will have six to nine different school systems in their lives from kindergarten to 12th grade. As military installations such as Fort Sam Houston, Fort Bliss, and Dyess Airforce Base receive new personnel from other installations, the Department of Defense has been asking, "What about the children?"

This past year the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Defense's signed a formal agreement to improve the quality of education and Texas Education Commissioner, Robert Scott, transferred funds to Education Service Centers in regions impacted by the Base Realignment and Closure to fund additional field service agents. However, much of the legislation which attempted to address the issues facing military children were either weakened in implementation or vetoed by the Governor.

The compact is designed to ease the trauma when children are uprooted from school as parents are transferred from base to base and state to state. States signing onto the compact agree to work together to create uniform standards and forms for entering school, transferring records, course placement, graduation requirements, redundant or missed testing and other transitions.

"Service to our military is not made in the seats of tanks but at the kitchen table and if you don't have the support of your spouse and your family, then you won't continue to serve," stated Senator Van de Putte.

"With our Armed Forces making such incredible sacrifices in this era of persistent conflict, we must ensure them that it is a great time to be a service member in Texas because we put a high priority on supporting our military families," stated Representative King.

The compact is currently in effect in 11 other states: Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina, and Oklahoma.