Saturday, December 4, 2021

Play

A new report shows, despite getting billions under the American Rescue Plan, many airlines continue to disrupt travelers' plans with cancellations, and Congress averts a government shutdown for now.

Play

U.S. House passes a stopgap government funding bill; the Omicron variant is found in Minnesota; Biden administration revives the "Remain in Mexico" policy; and the Bidens light the National Christmas Tree.

Play

Seniors in non-urban areas struggle with hunger disproportionately; rural communities make a push for federal money; and Planned Parenthood takes a case to the Montana Supreme Court.

Sweeping Legislation Boosts Protections for Student Veterans

Play

Monday, January 11, 2021   

RICHMOND, Va. -- Thousands of veterans in Virginia and across the nation now have additional educational support with the signing of landmark legislation that includes major protections of the GI Bill.

Carrie Wofford, president of support group Veterans Education Success, said the Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act, passed unanimously by Congress, lets student vets get in-state tuition at public universities, regardless of residency.

She outlined another important provision, which directs the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to target schools for payment instead of veterans if any conflicts over tuition occur.

"Previously, before this law, [the] VA was going after students every time there was a tuition dispute and it was affecting one out of every four GI Bill students, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office," Wofford explained.

She said if a chosen school closes or doesn't get VA approval, the new law means veterans can get their GI Bill payments back and start over at another school. More than 780,000 veterans live in Virginia. Nationally, about 70% use their GI Bill benefits.

Wofford noted the bill also places more scrutiny on schools known for taking advantage of GI Bill recipients. The VA will investigate if schools facing government legal action, creditors or fines should not receive more GI Bill money, she said, adding advocates have been pushing for this protection for years.

"VA felt that their hands were tied," Wofford remarked. "They felt that under the law they couldn't cut off GI Bill funding. So Congress unanimously came back and said, 'Oh, yes, you can, and you should. You must protect the GI Bill funds from unscrupulous schools or schools that are closing or schools being raided by the FBI or schools that are being cut off by their creditors.'"

About 62% of student veterans are first-generation students. The broad 340-page package also includes more than a hundred measures to help veterans facing issues including homelessness and COVID-19 and to improve services for female veterans.

Support for this reporting was provided by Lumina Foundation.

Disclosure: Lumina Foundation for Education contributes to our fund for reporting on Education. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
Indigenous people in Peru demonstrate against oil drilling in 2013. (Amazon Watch)

Environment

LOS ANGELES -- California-based facilities are refining half of all the oil drilled in the Amazon rain forests, according to a new report by the …


Environment

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- People who live on the Navajo Nation near the San Juan Basin are closely following work by the Environmental Protection Agency (…

Social Issues

PHOENIX -- A new report shows, despite getting billions of dollars from the federal government under the American Rescue Plan, many airlines continue …


From left, Andrea Comer, committee chairwoman, Connecticut Social Equity Council, and Carlton Highsmith, Joseph Carbone and Fred McKinney announce the Alliance for Cannabis Equity on Tuesday in Hamden, Conn. (The Narrative Project)

Social Issues

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Connecticut is among several states working on what its new recreational marijuana industry will look like, and a new coalition …

Environment

HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. -- One of the major takeaways from last month's big climate conference in Scotland is, all levels of government need to …

Civil rights groups are pushing Baltimore County to create a second majority Black council district to better represent its diverse population. (Flickr)

Social Issues

BALTIMORE, Md. -- Maryland civil rights groups are proposing a lawsuit against Baltimore County if it adopts its current redistricting plan, claiming …

Social Issues

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Nearly seven in ten Americans say billionaires are not paying their fair share in taxes, according to a new survey. Among likely …

Social Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. -- Over the coming weeks, North Dakotans will be clicking the "purchase" button as they order holiday gifts online, and fraud experts …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021