WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity held a hearing examining policies designed to increase the educational opportunities provided to veterans at public, private and for-profit colleges and universities across the country. The subcommittee examined a law passed during the 112th Congress that requires the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide relevant education and employment information to veterans. Also reviewed was a 2012 executive order that established guidelines for educational institutions serving servicemembers, veterans, and family members.
“Today, we gathered to keep a promise to our veterans,” said subcommittee Ranking Member Rep. Mark Takano (CA-41). “It is the same promise we first made with the passage of the first GI Bill in l944. For veterans who want to pursue educational opportunity, our duty is to provide every encouragement because they have earned those benefits in honorable service to their country. Our committee will continue to monitor this issue and seek to bring more transparency so our veterans can make informed decisions on which school fits their goals the best.”
The federal government has invested $28.7 billion in educational and vocational training for over 950,000 veterans since Congress passed the Post-9/11 GI Bill in 2008. The subcommittee is principally concerned with maximizing returns on those investments in veterans’ education by shielding them from deceptive recruiting or lending practices which can exhaust their onetime benefit packages and provide less than favorable outcomes. The primary means to accomplish this and ensure quality and efficiency in service delivery to both student veterans and educational institutions is improving the quality of information available and how it is disseminated. To that end, the 112th Congress passed H.R. 4057 (Public Law 112-249), requiring schools to provide academic performance data to the VA. In addition, President Obama issued Executive Order # 13607 establishing guidelines for institutions catering to service members, veterans or qualified family members.