Nebraska schools that take measures to welcome military-connected students would receive a special designation under a bill advanced from the first round of debate March 29.
Under LB5, introduced by Bellevue Sen. Carol Blood, a public, private or parochial school could apply to the State Board of Education for an annual “purple star school” designation.
Blood said the voluntary program would make school transitions easier for military-connected students and allow Nebraska schools to promote themselves as friendly to military families.
“That kind of recognition can be beneficial for the community at large … [and] can bring a sense of pride to that municipality,” she said.
To qualify, a school would have to designate a staff member as a military liaison, who would serve as a school’s point of contact for military-connected students and their families. Among other duties, the liaison would identify military-connected students and assist in coordinating school programs relevant to them.
Among other criteria, a qualifying school must offer online resources for military-connected students and their families, maintain a student-led program to assist military-connected students in transitioning into the school and offer training for staff members on issues related to military-connected students.
Senators voted 44-0 to advance the bill to select file.