The Educational Development for Troops and Veterans Act would provide education benefits to service members who often have to leave behind schools, jobs, and homes to serve their country
Major General Richard C. Nash, the head of the Minnesota National Guard, will attend the President’s Address to a Joint Session of Congress as the guest of Klobuchar tonight
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar has introduced legislation to strengthen education and workforce development for America’s troops and veterans. The Educational Development (ED) for Troops and Veterans Act would provide education benefits to service members who often have to leave behind schools, jobs, and homes to serve their country. Major General Richard C. Nash, the head of the Minnesota National Guard, will attend the President’s Address to a Joint Session of Congress as Klobuchar’s guest tonight.
“When we ask our young men and women to fight in defense of our nation, we make a promise that we will take care of them when they are on duty and when they return home,” said Klobuchar. “Our legislation will help ensure that veterans and National Guard and Reserve members have access to the education, training, and career development they need to succeed in today’s workforce. It’s the least we can do to honor their service.”
"The educational opportunities we provide our service members are essential, both to their success individually and to the readiness of our National Guard,” said General Nash. “It is important that we keep these programs up to date, and that those who mobilize for deployments receive the benefits and continued support that they have earned."
The legislation is supported by Student Veterans of America, Veterans Education Success, Reserve Officers Association, Retired Enlisted Association, Vietnam Veterans of America, Wounded Warrior Foundation, and the National Guard Association of the United States.
The ED for Troops and Veterans Act would:
- Provide protections and benefits for members of the National Guard and Reserve who deploy. For those stepping away from their career to serve their country, this bill will protect them from reduced wages or even termination from their job. And it makes sure that National Guard and Reserve members receive the same GI Bill education benefits as their active duty counterparts for time deployed overseas.
- Allow service members to defer student loan payments during training for an upcoming deployment. Service members train for months before a deployment, and often have to relocate to do so. These folks shouldn't face financial hardship due to their student loan payments while serving our country and they should be completely freed up to focus on readiness requirements prior to deployment.
- Establish a grant program to build, maintain and improve college veteran education centers. A number of benefits and resources exist for student veterans, but for many it's a complicated system that's hard to navigate. Veteran education centers help student veterans maximize their benefits, receive academic aid, and connect with their peers on campus.
- Keep tuition assistance for members of the National Guard and Reserve competitive. The cost of college tuition is increasing by the year, and GI Bill tuition assistance for Guardsmen and reservists shouldn’t continue to lose its value.
- Protect Reservists' monthly housing allowance during training. Reservists have to commit to a number of training days a month to maintain readiness. This provision will correct a discrepancy that denies reservists who train on active duty status from receiving the full housing allowance to which they should be entitled. Many of these reservists are students who greatly rely on this allowance while furthering their education.
Klobuchar was joined by Senators John Tester (D-MT), Al Franken (D-MN), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) in introducing the legislation.
Klobuchar has worked in a bipartisan manner to modernize G.I. Bill benefits for our troops and to strengthen funding veterans’ health care. She is a co-sponsor of the Veterans Education Relief and Restoration Act of 2015, which would ensure that if a veteran is forced to discontinue school because of a college’s closure and the veteran did not receive transfer credits, the veteran’s GI Bill benefits will not be reduced. Klobuchar has also authored bipartisan bills on behalf of our nation’s veterans and their families to help veterans exposed to toxic burn pits, expand job training and employment opportunities, cut red tape and wait times for veterans scheduling appointments at VA Medical Facilities, and to reduce veterans’ homelessness.