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Governor Quinn Signs Into Law the Educational Opportunity for Military Children Act

K-12 Education Publications

In an effort to improve the educational success of children of military families who frequently move and deal with the deployment of their parents, Governor Quinn recently signed into law (P.A. 096-0953) the Educational Opportunity for Military Children Act. The purpose of the Act is to facilitate, among other things, the timely enrollment, placement and graduation of children of military families. The Act applies to children of active duty members of the uniformed military services, including members of the National Guard and reserve that are on active duty, members or veterans of the uniformed services who are severely injured and medically discharged or retired for a period of one year after medical discharge or retirement, and members of the uniform services who die on active duty for a period of one year after death.

The Act provides that a student, who is the child of active duty military personnel placed with a non-custodial parent and who must attend a non-resident school district as a result of the placement, may not be charged tuition. These students must be counted in the calculation of average daily attendance pursuant to the School Code.

The transferring student may continue credit work in the new school district so long as the new district has a comparable course available. School districts may determine if courses previously taken by a transfer student satisfy the pre-requisite course requirements for any courses that the student wishes to enroll in the new school district. To ensure timely graduation, school districts may work with the student to determine an appropriate schedule that ensures graduation pursuant to the new school district’s minimal graduation requirements. School districts may modify their graduation requirements for these students so long as the modification is a result of scheduling issues, but not a result of the student’s academic failure. If a student transfers during the student’s senior year and the new school district cannot make adjustments which would allow the students to graduate, the new school district must make every reasonable effort to make sure the student’s previous district issues the student a diploma.

This Act is effective immediately.