Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Leg Passes Interstate Schools Compact

The Washington State Senate at 5PM Monday concurred with the House amendment on SSB 5248 and voted 43-1-1 to pass the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children. Now on to Governor Gregoire, who is expected to sign it.

The House amendment struck the null & void clause for funding that was in the Senate's original bill. The fiscal note will indeed be funded at $49K annually, out of the state budget.

Many thanks to all who helped in this effort, including the Task Force membership, military family-friendly legislators, the Puget Sound Regional Council, School District Superintendents, OSPI leaders, School Liaisons from the military installations, the Tacoma News Tribune, and most especially to the military families who showed up to testify. Sincere thanks go to Senator Steve Hobbs and Representative Christine Rolfes, our diligent sponsors for this effort.

As the seventh largest military state, our 29,000 active duty military-dependent school children, and activated Guard/Reserve member school children, will now join at least 14 other states (the compact is now on the Governors' desks in Alaska, Maryland and Hawaii, with other states to follow) as a compact state seeking a level playing field for the difficult school transition issues that arise when military families move from state to state while serving our Nation.

As soon as we know of the bill signing ceremony, Mark San Souci will pass on the time and place for those interested in attending. The effective date of the bill is 90 days after adjournment of the legislative session in which the bill is passed: July 25, 2009.

As we learn more about implementation of the compact in our state, based on creation of the State Council prescribed in the law, Mark will pass that information on to you also.

It's a great day for our military families!

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