COLUMBUS — Military families moving from post to post could find at least one part of the seemingly constant change a little easier if a bill passed by the Ohio House becomes law.

House Bill 244, which passed the chamber unanimously, would give local school districts the opportunity to allow children of military families to enroll virtually when preparing for a move, giving the students a chance to get a jump start at a new school.

“Supporting our military families is an issue we can all unite around,” Rep. Andrea White, R-Kettering, said. “It’s critically important that Ohio continues to grow its reputation as a welcoming state for our military families to help them flourish. We need to do more to support these children and their families who already sacrifice so much for our freedom, and House Bill 244 is a step in the right direction to achieve that.”

Military families coming to Ohio must wait until they are physically located in a school district before students can register and start school. White said that often creates stress and could cause students to fall behind.

“[The bill] is important for our state as we seek to remain a vital partner for our nation’s defense and a host of strategic military installations, which drive innovation and economic growth across Ohio,” White said.

The bill is part of education issues that have passed or are being considered by Ohio’s General Assembly this year. The body took up several student testing concerns brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s debating a new school funding formula, which could increase the amount of money earmarked for education while adjusting school districts’ funding responsibilities.

HB 244, cosponsored by Rep. Brian Lampton, R-Beavercreek, now heads to the Senate for consideration.

By J.D. Davidson

The Center Square