Senator Ben Allen Applauds New Policy to Help Children of Military Families

CA State Senator Ben Allen addressed an audience at the Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, El Segundo, California, prior to the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding. U. S. Air Force photo/ Joseph M. Juarez Sr.

Senator Ben Allen (D – Santa Monica) joined leaders from across the South Bay to celebrate the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Los Angeles Air Force Base and the Los Angeles County Office of Education. The signing marks the implementation of AB 306 (Hadley), a bill co-authored by Senator Allen that gives military families flexibility to choose their children’s schools.

Previously, the school district had to approve the transfer of a pupil, making it difficult for military families that frequently move to get their children into schools near their new home. AB 306 lifted that approval requirement, giving families the flexibility they need when adjusting to a new assignment.

Senator Allen Chairs the Senate Education Committee and is the Vice-Chair of the California State Senate’s Select Committee on Defense and Aerospace, which made the success of legislation particularly meaningful. “Southern California has been a national leader in aerospace innovation and production. The Los Angeles Air Force Base has been integral to the growth and livelihood of communities I represent,” said Senator Allen. “I am so pleased that we can give back to this community and that families stationed at LAAFB will be able to select the school that is best for their children.”

Col Charles Roberts, the 61st Air Base Group Commander, and Ms. Debra Durado, Superintendent for LA County Office of Education, sign the Memorandum of Understanding. U. S. Air Force photo/Joseph M. Juarez Sr.

The Los Angeles Air Force Base in El Segundo is the only active duty military base in the LA area.  The base develops and sustains military space systems, including GPS, satellite communications, defense meteorological satellites, and space-based infrared systems. It also contributes $1.8 billion to the local economy annually and is one of the region’s largest employers with over 6,000 employees.

Additional support was offered from Assemblymember Muratsuchi, who along with Senator Allen, joined the newly formed South Bay Aerospace Alliance. “Military families sacrifice much for our country and are required to move as part of their service. These families should be given special consideration and be able to choose where to send their kids to school,” said Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi.  “That’s also why I authored a bill to allow certain exemptions for district-specific graduation requirements as well as the acceptance of transfer credits, after the completion of their second year of high school, to ensure they are able to graduate on time.”