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December 8, 2016

Veteran Education Bill Passed to Benefit
Students Attending Community Colleges

 

The House passed H.R. 6416 this week, which contained legislation introduced by Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) to streamline veteran education benefits at community colleges.

"Our veterans should be able to receive their education benefits without any unnecessary delays," said Rep. Calvert. "Community colleges provide incredible educational opportunities for our veterans, so I am pleased Congress is taking action to make it easier for veterans to use their education benefits at these institutions."

"We are pleased that the members of Congress made access to education for student veterans a priority," said Virginia Blumenthal, RCCD board president. "Current and former members of the RCCD board have supported this bill and we are pleased that Congressman Calvert and members of congress passed it. Our colleges served more than 1,740 student veterans in 2015-16, all of whom will benefit from an improved process."

Moreno Valley, Norco and Riverside City colleges have a veteran's resource center which provide veterans services and connections to county, state and federal resources. In addition, the RCCD colleges offer specific programs and activities for veterans and have trained veterans counselors and counselors for disabled veterans.

H.R. 6416 contained the legislative text of H.R. 182, introduced by Rep. Calvert on January 7, 2015, which streamlines the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) processes for community colleges that have multiple campuses. Currently, the VA requires community colleges to certify that their veteran students are enrolled in a specific number of classes before the VA will disperse student benefits.

According to a news release from Rep. Calvert's office, "these rules must be updated to account for multi-college Community College Districts, such as Riverside Community College District (RCCD). Without such an update, veterans that take classes at a multi-college District see their benefits delayed while colleges and the VA complete and shuffle unnecessary paperwork. H.R. 182 would direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to permit the centralized reporting of veteran enrollment by certain groups, districts, and consortiums of educational institutions."

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