News Releases

Murray Introduces Amendments to Aid Schools, Students Impacted by Military Action

Jul 25 2005

Legislation will help schools handle sudden changes in enrollment, ensure student counseling and provide child care for military families

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) today introduced two amendments to the Department of Defense Authorization bill to help address the challenges facing military students and the schools they attend. The amendments (S. 1042 and S. 1039), which Murray spoke about on the floor of the U.S. Senate, show America’s commitment to meeting the needs of military families and ensuring that students will not be penalized while their parents serve our nation overseas.

“Our entire country has been impacted by September 11th and our military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, but there is one vulnerable group that faces special burdens – the children of our military families,” Murray said.

Murray’s two amendments will:

  • Help schools handles sudden changes in student enrollment
  • Ensure that military students can get the counseling and extra support they need in school and help Guard and Reserve families to obtain affordable, quality childcare

As Washington's military bases gain and lose personnel due to deployments and the Pentagon's new realignment plan, schools near military bases -- and the children of military personnel -- are being impacted. Some school districts have to cope with a dramatic and rapid increase in enrollment. They will need to hire new teachers and find new classroom space quickly under tight budgets while others will lose hundreds of students and be forced to close schools, greatly disrupting local communities.

To address those challenges, Senator Murray wrote a plan to minimize the impact of these military changes on local schools and students. Her plan will also ensure that children of military personnel get the monitoring, support and counseling they need so they don't fall behind.

“Imagine having to study for a math test while also dealing with the stress of a mom or dad who has been deployed. Or imagine trying to write a book report after one of your parents has come home seriously injured or with PTSD. Those are terrible burdens for anyone, but they are especially difficult for children,” Murray said. “Together we can make sure that children are not penalized as their parents serve our country. I urge my colleagues to support our military families by supporting my amendments.”