Bill benefits our military families

April 21, 2014 

If you think serving in the military is a challenging lifestyle, consider what it must be like for their children. They often just get settled into a school, only to have a parent reassigned and they have to start all over again.

Will their credits transfer, will the requirements for graduation be the same, will they be able to play in the band or on the football team?

Illinois House Bill 3939 helps address these and many other questions. It would make Illinois a full member of the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children, a standard set of rules on how these issues should be addressed. Illinois only partially follows the compact now.

Mascoutah Superintendent Craig Fiegel, whose school district serves the base, said this is similar to what the district does now. Good, but that hasn't been and isn't always now the case at schools in the metro-east. Military families shouldn't have to hope that things work out for their children once they get here; they should be assured of it by knowing that Illinois adheres to the educational compact.

We talk a lot in the metro-east about what we can do to ensure that Scott Air Force Base continues to grow and is protected should there be another round of base closings. One of the best things is to ensure a high quality of life for military families. For officers and enlisted personnel with children, schools are at the top of the list.

We urge the Senate to pass this bill and for Gov. Pat Quinn to sign it.

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