- U.S. spent $11.9 billion for VA education benefits in 2019
- Legislation to improve educational outcomes is ‘long overdue.’
A bipartisan group of U.S. senators is proposing legislation to help veterans use their GI Bill money for higher education or certificate programs that can help them find employment and avoid squandering benefits on credentials with little value.
The bill — sponsored by Democrats Brian Schatz of Hawaii and Chris Coons of Delaware along with Republicans Mike Rounds of South Dakota and Rob Portman of Ohio — is intended to improve the tools used to compare education programs and authorize the Veteran Affairs Department to restore benefits to veterans who used them at institutions that were subject to civil enforcement actions.
“Our bill will ensure that veterans who have been deceived are able to recoup their benefits,” Schatz said in a joint statement with the other senators. “It will also help veterans learn more about different schools and their benefits so that they have the information they need to find the right program.”
An expansion of the GI Bill passed after the Sept. 11 attacks provides federal funding for veterans to pursue post-secondary education, including college or certificate programs, to help secure a post-military career. There’s little if any data collected on the veterans’ educational outcomes at individual institutions– an effort called for by veterans’ advocates.