By Bob Katzen
On October 21, the Senate 39-0, approved legislation that would support military families who relocate to the Bay State by providing career stability for the spouses of service members and education for their children.
Provisions include making it easier for military personnel and their spouses who move to the Bay State to get a Massachusetts professional license, if their job requires one, so that they can continue their civilian careers and provide for their families without interruption; requiring the Commissioner of Education to issue a military spouse a valid certificate for teaching if he or she holds a valid teaching license from another state; allowing children of military members to register and enroll in a school district at the same time it is open to the general population by waiving the proof of residency requirement until the student actually begins school; creating a purple-star campus designation for certain schools that are military-kid friendly and show a major commitment to students and families connected to the nation’s military; and requiring that a child or spouse of an active-duty service member in Massachusetts continue to pay the in-state less expensive tuition rate at state universities even if the service member is assigned to move out of the state.
“Our commonwealth has always led from the front in terms of taking care of our active-duty service members and veterans, but I strongly believe that there is more we can do for the spouses and children of service-members who also call Massachusetts their home,” said sponsor Sen. John Velis (D-Westfield) at the time the proposal was approved. “Anyone who has worn the uniform or has a family member who has worn the uniform knows that the sacrifice of military service goes far beyond the individual service member. By passing this legislation, we are saying to these families that we understand their challenges, that we recognize the great sacrifices that they have made and that we are committed to doing everything we can to