Hochul signs Braunstein bill easing school enrollment for military families

Photo courtesy of Assemblyman Edward Braunstein’s office

Last week, Governor Kathy Hochul signed a law simplifying school enrollment for military families, just six months after it passed in the state Assembly and Senate.

Proposed by Assemblyman Edward Braunstein and officially passed in May 2021, bill A6528A allows military families that relocate to New York state to enroll their children in schools at the same time as their peers prior to physically arriving in the neighborhood.

Hochul officially signed the bill into law on Thursday, Nov. 11, on Veterans Day. It takes effect immediately and is part of a package of legislation that supports and protects veterans and their families.

“As we honor those who serve our country this Veterans Day, I’m proud to see this bill to simplify school enrollment for military families signed into law,” Braunstein said. “This legislation will help to alleviate the unique school enrollment challenges faced by military families and offer their children the best possible educational experience while they call New York state home. I thank Governor Hochul for signing this bill and Senator Skoufis for his partnership on this effort.”

According to the U.S. Department of Defense, the average child in a military family will move approximately six to nine times during their school career. Over an estimated 185,000 military children move between schools each year, resulting in missed registrations, applications and extracurricular enrollment periods.

“With over 16,500 active duty military school-age children attending school in this state, New York is in a unique position to have a positive effect on the educational experiences of military children and families by enacting this legislation,” said the DOD in a memorandum in support of Braunstein’s bill.

Now that the bill has passed in New York, it has become the 25th state to enact a policy for military children to help ensure their uninterrupted education and timely graduation.

“Our active service members and veterans have served a high calling to protect our democracy and freedoms, and now it is our turn to support them and their families,” Hochul said. “By signing these bills into law today, we are taking steps to ensure veterans and active duty military members have the benefits and resources they need, and the flexibility their circumstances require, to best take care of themselves and their families. New York’s veterans stood up for us, and we will continue to stand by them.”