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Governor Brown signs bill ensuring military children received excused absences

  • Published
  • By Luis Quinonez
AB 387 authored by Assemblywoman Susan A. Bonilla (D-Concord) was signed by Governor Brown to clarify existing law to ensure that military children are provided with excused absences from school when a member of their immediate family is being deployed or on leave from active duty.

Every year a significant number of military families are transferred to fulfill military obligations. These families do not have a choice of when or where they will reside while serving our nation, many time in dangerous overseas areas.

The high mobility experienced by military families can be overwhelming, especially on children and their education tends to suffer.

"Military personnel must be confident a change of station will not negatively affect their families. AB 387 guarantees military students are not penalized at school for their parents' commitment to our country," said Bonilla. "A quality education for military children is fundamental to the success of our military families and allows the armed forces to keep families united."

In 2009, the Legislature passed and the Governor signed AB 343 (Saldaña, Chapter 237, Statutes of 2009) to adopt the recommendations from the Interstate Compact Opportunity for Military Children (Compact). The purpose of the Compact was to reduce the educational obstacles faced by children of military personnel, when they are required to transfer from schools in one state to another.

The Compact addresses differences in state regulations involving immunization requirements, kindergarten & first grade entrance ages, exit exams, and graduation requirements. AB 387 aligns the Education Code with the conclusions of the Compact to ensure that military children are excused from school when a family member is being deployed. The stress caused by deployment, in addition to worries families tend to have, can be more than a child can endure.