February 09, 2016

House Passes Veterans Education Bill Authored by Rep. Mark Takano

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill authored by Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA) to ensure all veterans attending career education programs receive an education that prepares them for a successful career and a positive transition into civilian life. The Career-Ready Student Veterans Act (HR 2360) requires career education programs receiving GI Bill benefits to have programmatic accreditation if required by the state for employment in that specific field.

Programs also must prepare students for licensure or certification in their field, if required by the state, and they must meet any state-mandated curricular and instructional requirements.

“Too many veterans expend their hard-earned education benefits at career education programs that don’t actually prepare them for that career field. Students complete their course work, exhaust their benefits, and then discover their degree does not enable them to enter the workforce,” said Rep. Takano. “Passing this bill is a major step toward holding these programs accountable for the promises they make to student veterans.”

A common scenario in which career education programs fail their students is at some for-profit law schools. In many states, students must graduate from an accredited law school to take the bar exam and practice law. Veterans unwittingly spend their GI Bill benefits at a program not accredited by the American Bar Association, only to realize upon graduation they cannot take the final step toward becoming a lawyer.

These veterans are then faced with depleted education benefits and few job prospects.

“We all know the importance of a good job in helping veterans transition out of service and back into the community,” said Congressman Takano. “I am grateful to Chairman Jeff Miller and Reps. Brad Wenstrup and Corrine Brown for their support in passing this legislation, and I am hopeful the Senate will act quickly to send it to the president’s desk.”

The Senate companion bill (S. 1938) is sponsored by Sen. Richard Blumenthal.