Senate OKs bill to help military families

ATLANTA - Georgia students would be allowed time off from school to spend time with military parents who have been sent to an overseas war zone under a bill passed Wednesday by the Senate.

The legislation was sponsored by Rep. Mike Coan, R-Lawrenceville. It would require local school districts to grant students up to five excused absences per school year to visit with a parent serving in the military either before he or she is deployed or while on leave.

The Senate expanded Coan's bill to include legal guardians. Because of that change, the measure now must return to the House.