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Illinois governor signs bill to help students of military families change schools

MASCOUTAH, Illinois — Students of military parents who must be able to quickly adapt to a new school district whenever their mom or dad get new orders will be able to transfer to a different school easier as a result of legislation signed Saturday by Gov. Pat Quinn.

With Quinn's signature, the law immediately went into effect, according to a written statement from Dave Blanchette, chief spokesman for Quinn.

The ceremony was held at Mascoutah High School, where many Scott Air Force Base families send their children.

The new law, sponsored in part by State Rep. Eddie Lee Jackson, D-East St. Louis, streamlines paperwork to allow a quicker transfer of health and academic records for military children.

"We owe a debt of gratitude to our many Illinois service members and their families," Quinn said in a written statement.

"When a military family has to pack up and move to Illinois, we need to make sure the process is worry-free," the statement said.

The new law updates a section of the Educational Opportunity for Military Children Act on issues that include, "non-custodial parents, tuition, educational records, course placement, graduation, extracurricular activities and absences related to deployment activities," according to the statement.

The Mascoutah Community Unit School District 19 includes many children of military personnel. Superintendent Craig Fiegel said of the bill, "I believe it's what we should do for students."

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