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New Mexico law enables early, out-of-state school enrollment for military kids

Graphic illustration of New Mexico education.

On April 6, 2021, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed N.M. Senate Bill 272 into law, allowing incoming military students to register in New Mexico school districts before they physically arrive in the state, effective with school year 2021-2022. Military families inbound to the state can enroll their children in public schools and charter schools electronically, when the sponsor receives PCS orders. (U.S. Air Force illustration by Todd Berenger.)

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --

On April 6, 2021, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed N.M. Senate Bill 272 into law, allowing incoming military students to register in New Mexico school districts before they physically arrive in the state, effective with school year 2021-2022.

The law enables military parents to enroll their children in school more than a month earlier than the previous state law allowed. The bill also requires school districts and charter schools to accept electronic applications for enrollment, and it removes the previous requirement that students prove residency in the district at the time of enrollment.

Military parents will need to provide proof of residence in the desired school district within 45 days after the reporting date indicated on PCS orders. They can use the address of a temporary on-base billeting facility, off-base military housing, or a purchased or leased residence.

A U.S. Air Force veteran, Sen. Harold Pope Jr., representing Albuquerque, introduced the bill. Pope said military families moving to New Mexico need extra time to enroll their children in schools, especially for special education or other programs.

Beth Mann, Kirtland AFB School Liaison, highlighted the new law’s main benefit.

“Now, military families inbound to the state can enroll their children in public schools and charter schools electronically, when the sponsor receives PCS orders,” she said.

For more information, contact Mann at (505) 846-6477, DSN 246-6477, cell (505) 228-5697 or beth.mann.1@us.af.mil.