04.06.17

Responding to Wave of For-Profit School Closures, Rep. Takano Introduces Bill to Protect Student Veterans

Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.) introduced legislation that would restore Post-9/11 GI Bill education benefits to veterans affected by the permanent closure of certain educational institutions. The Veterans Education Relief and Restoration Act (VERRA) comes nearly two years after the abrupt closure of Corinthian Colleges, which stranded 16,000 students, and just one week after Westech College suddenly closed its three locations in Southern California. 

Student veterans are frequent victims of schools closures and typically lose their hard-earned education and housing benefits when their schools shut down without warning.

“When educational institutions abruptly close they often leave student veterans with incomplete and non-transferable credits and without critical housing and food benefits,” said Congressman Takano. “The men and women who served this country should not have to bear this burden. They deserve a second chance at the education they need to advance their careers and achieve financial stability. 

Specifically, VERRA would provide VA with the authority to:

  • Restore entitlement for individuals who pursued a program of education with VA educational assistance and failed to receive credit – or lost training time – toward completion of the individual’s educational, professional, or vocational objective as a result of the closure of their educational institution.
  • Continue monthly educational assistance payments – including housing allowance – through the end of the term, quarter, or semester in which the school closes, or up to four months from the date of the school closure, whatever comes first. These extensions would be without charge to entitlement.

The bill is cosponsored by: Reps. Carol Shea-Porter, Raúl M. Grijalva, Susan DelBene, Louise Slaughter, Bobby Rush, Jackie Speier, Earl Blumenauer, Scott Peters.

It is endorsed by the Student Veterans of America.

The full text of the bill is available here

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