PRESS RELEASE
From the Office of State Senator Leticia Van de Putte

For Immediate Release
May 30, 2009
Contact: Kathryn Freeman, (512) 463-0126

Texas Enacts the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children

(Austin) — Today, Governor Rick Perry was joined by Senator Leticia Van de Putte (D-San Antonio) and Representative Charlie Geren (R-Fort Worth) as he signed Senate Bill 90, the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children, into law.

S.B. 90 was authored by Senator Van de Putte and sponsored by Representative Charlie Geren. The Interstate Compact will streamline enrollment, eligibility, placement, and graduation requirements for military children who move to or from Texas. Nineteen other states have already enacted The Interstate Compact, in order to help ease the transition for military students as their parents move between postings.

Texas has the second-largest military population in the nation, which include 99,633 minor school-age dependents of which, approximately 70,000 have a parent on active duty. Most military children will go to 6 to 9 different schools from kindergarten to 12th grade. Children in military families are faced with numerous challenges as their parents serve our country: worrying about their parents in hostile combat zones, repeatedly losing friends and making new ones, adjusting to new communities and military installations, and constantly changing schools.

“Not only do military families deal with the challenges of extended time apart due to deployment, they also relocate frequently in support of our nation’s defense,” Governor Rick Perry said. “To smooth out the bumps that military dependents hit when they suddenly switch schools, SB 90 provides sensible changes that will enable the children of our hardworking service members to integrate rapidly into their new schools and keep pace academically instead of languishing under miles of red tape.”

"As our country faces increased military engagement in hostile locations around the globe, enormous stress is being placed on our military families. It is not just our service members who make sacrifices, their families also make sacrifices, with every base transfer and every deployment, their lives are uprooted as they deal with the prolonged absence of a loved one," said Senator Leticia Van de Putte, who also serves as Chair of the Senate Veteran Affairs and Military Installations Committee.

"The Interstate Compact is one small way for us to show our appreciation for the sacrifices made by our military families. With the passage of SB 90, Texas is sending a clear message that we are committed to improving their quality of life and ensuring their children's educational success," said Senator Van de Putte.

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