HARRISBURG – Sen. Tracy Pennycuick (R-24) is urging area school districts to take part in the state’s new Purple Star School program to support military-connected children as they relocate to new schools due to a parent’s change in duty station.
Created through legislation she supported last year, the Purple Star School designation is given to schools or local education agencies for their commitment to active-duty military families and students. Pennsylvania is the 38th state to offer the designation.
“Having served in the military, and having daughters serving in uniform, I know very well how much the Purple Star School program could benefit students and parents,” Pennycuick said. “I encourage schools to apply for Purple Star School designation and let military families know their children are being set up for success while their parents serve our nation.”
The Purple Star School program encourages schools to identify and support the children of service members on active duty, and in the National Guard and Reserves, as they transition to a new school. Schools can receive the Purple Star Award from Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) if they meet specific criteria demonstrating their commitment to students and families connected to our nation’s military.
To learn more and apply for the Purple Star School designation, schools can visit PDE’s website. The program is open to public and non-public schools in Pennsylvania.
Pennycuick, a U.S. Army combat veteran, was appointed to the State Council on the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children earlier this year. She is sponsoring legislation to give children of National Guard and Reserve members the same help provided to those of active-duty military families through the compact. The multistate agreement provides a consistent set of policies that make getting started in a new school, joining extracurricular activities and meeting graduation requirements as easy as possible for military children.
CONTACT: Lidia DiFiore