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Bill to Help Schools Educating Military Families

November 3, 2019, 11:22 AM HST
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Rep. Tulsi Gabbard offers thoughts on the Survey Our Military Impacted Schools Act. VC: US House of Representatives. 

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard last week co-introduced House Resolution 4917, also known as the Survey Our Military Impacted Schools Act.

The bill would direct the Department of Defense — in consultation with other relevant agencies — to evaluate the unmet renovation, repair and expansion needs of elementary and secondary schools across the country that serve children of US military personnel and federal government employees.

“Over 800,000 children of servicemembers attend public schools. Our men and women in uniform, and their families, sacrifice so much in service to our country. They shouldn’t have to worry about the needs of their kids’ schools,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. “Unfortunately, programs to assist these schools are vastly underfunded. My bill will help make sure that necessary resources are prioritized and delivered to schools most in need.”

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According to a survey of 5,650 military and veterans conducted in 2017 by the Military Family Advisory Network (MFAN), 43% of military families had elected to live separately from the active military member at some point in their career, with 21% citing a need for continuity in their children’s education.

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Underfunding of the Impact Aid program has resulted in military-connected children attending schools that are operating at a loss and without the resources needed to help these students thrive, according to a release from Gabbard’s office. H.R. 4917 would help better quantify where there are needs and provide better direction for Congress to allocate resources to meet these needs.

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