The State Senate this week approved legislation sponsored by Senator Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne) that would provide an educational leave of absence to the spouses of Pennsylvanian national guardsmen and reservists who are called to active duty.
Baker, who chairs the Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, said state law already provides for educational leave of absences for those who are serving on active duty, and her bill would extend that option in cases where a spouse must relocate.
“This bill would ensure that if a spouse of a soldier is required to leave an educational institution because of deployment, he or she would not lose academic credits, scholarships, grants or other fees paid,” Baker said. “Being called to active duty can disrupt a spouse’s education and be a financial hardship for the entire family.”
Senate Bill 1199 would require educational institutions to refund tuition or fees paid or credit the costs to the next semester or term after the termination of the educational military leave of absence at the option of the student.
“At a time when so many Pennsylvanians are being asked to serve their country – often far away from home, this legislation will help to ease disruptions and enable them and their families to continue with education plans,” Baker said.
Senate Bill 1199 now goes to the House for consideration.
Contact: Brian Grove