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Politics

Assembly and Senate Pass Braunstein-Skoufis Bill for Military Families

ALBANY, NY – The New York State Assembly and Senate have passed legislation that would allow military families relocating to New York State to enroll their children in school at the same time as their peers, prior to physically arriving in the neighborhood. This legislation was sponsored by Assemblyman Edward C. Braunstein (D-Bayside) (A.6528-A) and Greek-American Senator James Skoufis (S.5743-A). Assemblyman Braunstein’s district includes Fort Totten, located in Bay Terrace, Queens, and Senator Skoufis’ includes West Point and Stewart Air National Guard Base.

Service members typically receive official military orders detailing their upcoming assignment 90 days to 6 months prior to their move. The Defense Department estimates that the average child in a military family will move six to nine times during a school career. Over 185,000 military children move between schools annually, causing them to potentially miss important registration, application or extracurricular enrollment periods within their new school community.

If enacted, the bill would make New York the twenty-fifth state which has enacted a policy for military children to help ensure their uninterrupted education and timely graduation. In a memorandum of support for the policy in the bill, the United States Department of Defense wrote that, “With over 16,500 active duty military school-age children attending school in this state, New York is in a unique position to have a positive effect on the educational experiences of military children and families by enacting this legislation.”

 “Due to frequent relocations necessitated by their service to our country, military members and their families face unique challenges enrolling their children in schools and extracurriculars,” said Assemblyman Edward Braunstein. “This bill would help offer military children the best possible educational experience while they and their families call New York State home. I thank Senator Skoufis for supporting this important measure.”

"As the Senator representing both West Point and Stewart Air National Guard Base, ensuring children of military families receive fair access to educational opportunities when they reside in New York is of critical importance,” said State Senator James Skoufis.  “Military families are asked to navigate any number of relocations in service to the United States, and lawmakers should do everything in our power to enable their success and stability in return. I thank Assemblyman Braunstein for his partnership on this effort as well as my Senate colleagues for affirming every child's right to an excellent education in New York State."

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