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January 31, 2024

Committee Passes Bill to Recognize Schools that Support Military Families

DENVER, CO - The House Education Committee today passed legislation that would create the Purple Star School Program to recognize K-12 public schools that provide support to military students and their families.

“School-aged kids often struggle to deal with the stressors that come along with childhood, like making friends and changes to their routine,” said Rep. Bob Marshall, D-Highlands Ranch. “Children who are part of military families are especially vulnerable to these changes, as military families move and relocate frequently. When I served in the Marine Corps, my own daughter once changed schools three times in one year. This legislation will help these kids during the transition process so they can focus on learning and growing with a program that helps create a sense of normalization in the process.”

“Kids with parents in the military are five times more likely than their civilian peers to change schools,” said Rep. Mike Weissman, D-Aurora. “As the representative for a community with a long tradition of military service, I know how disruptive moving, deployment, and switching schools can be for kids. The Purple Star School Program will recognize schools that provide support to students so they can better navigate these challenges.”

HB24-1076 establishes the Purple Star School Program to designate and recognize K-12 public schools that show a strong commitment to military-connected students and their families. The bill unanimously passed by a vote of 11-0.

The Purple State School Program has been adopted by 42 other states and is proven to help military-connected students combat the academic and socio-emotional challenges they often face due to frequent relocation, transferring schools, parental deployment and changing environments.

To qualify for the Purple Star designation, schools must:

  • Designate a staff member as a Military Liaison,

  • Maintain a website with resources for military-connected students and families,

  • Maintain student-led transition programs, and

  • Offer professional development opportunities relating to military-connected students.

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