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Senator Lincoln Introduces Veterans Training Act in Senate

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Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) has introduced S. 3171, the Veterans Training Act, as a stand-alone piece of legislation.  Similar to Rep. Joe Sestak's H.R. 3813 the legislation would open up the benefits of the Post-9/11 GI Bill to veterans/students attending career colleges.   Senator James Risch (R-ID) is an original co-sponsor of the Lincoln bill.  
 
The Veterans Training Act would open up considerably more educational opportunities for our nation's recent veterans by enabling them to receive the benefits of the Post/911 Educational Assistance Program for all forms of higher education.  Specifically, H.R. 3813 would deem a program of education as ‘approved' under the Post 9/11 Educational Assistance Program if the program is provided by an institution offering:  
 
1.     Postsecondary instruction that leads to an associate or higher degree and the institution is an approved institution of higher learning; or  
2.     Instruction that does not lead to an associate or higher degree and the institution is an approved educational institution.
 
70% of all Montgomery GI Bill users received vocational training, not college degrees. Unfortunately, veterans attending vocational schools under the Post 9/11 GI Bill are specifically excluded from the benefits of the program.  Covering vocational programs only at colleges unfairly discriminates against veterans pursuing VA approved vocational training programs - including those at career colleges.  Post 9/11 GI Bill veterans should be free to pursue any program of education or training whether degree or non-degree granting.  On return to civilian life, many service members are interested in quickly hitting the ground running.  Short-term certificate and diploma programs can be a critical part of a successful transition.
 
CVTA members should be reaching out to their respective Senators and to request they become co-sponsors of the legislation.