Navy officials announced a new policy aimed at easing the transition of school-aged children when their sailor parent moves on permanent change-of-station orders.

The sailor now can request that his or her dependents be allowed to delay their move until the end of the school year, according to a Navy news release. Until now, approvals for requests for dependents’ delayed PCS moves generally were limited to the end of the current school term ― usually June or December.

The change, announced Tuesday, is effective immediately. Sailors may also be authorized a housing allowance rate based on the location where the dependents have maintained a permanent residence.

“It’s great the Navy is giving families more flexibility to schedule the move when the timing is good for them,” said Eileen Huck, government relations deputy director for the National Military Family Association. “Especially for older kids, moving in the middle of the school year is disruptive.

“There are pros and cons to [moving during or after the school year], but it’s nice for the family to be able to make the decision that’s best for you and best for your child. It’s easy for the services to do, and it makes a big difference for families.”

The services also have policies that allow service members to request to stay in the same geographic location to allow their child to finish their senior year of high school.

Karen has covered military families, quality of life and consumer issues for Military Times for more than 30 years, and is co-author of a chapter on media coverage of military families in the book "A Battle Plan for Supporting Military Families." She previously worked for newspapers in Guam, Norfolk, Jacksonville, Fla., and Athens, Ga.

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