Children of Active Duty, Remain in School

Assembly Approves Johnson, DeAngelo, Andrzejczak & Mukherji Bill to Allow Children of Active Duty Military to Stay in Same School.

Measure Would Permit Children to Remain in Same District Regardless of Where Parent is Deployed on Active Duty

(TRENTON) - Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Gordon M. Johnson, Wayne DeAngelo, Bob Andrzejczak & Raj Mukherji 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 cleared the full Assembly 75-0.

"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 would help mitigate that stress."

Under the bill (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 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.

"Providing active duty reservists and guard members with an extra bit of stability at home goes a long way," said DeAngelo (D-Mercer and 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). "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 Reserves Sergeant. "This bill helps military parents to maintain stability in their child's school life while continuing to serve their country."

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 was released by the Assembly Military and Veteran Affairs Committee on Thursday, October 9.