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VFW TESTIFIES ON PROTECTING STUDENT-VETERANS

Student-veterans may be victimized by schools that fail to deliver on their educational promises.

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Ryan Gallucci, VFW Deputy Legislative Director, tesitfying on
the protection of student-veterans.

On May 16, 2012, VFW testified at a House VA Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity hearing on the implementation of the executive order to better protect student-veterans.

The executive order entitled “Establishing Principles of Excellence for Educational Institutions Serving Service Members, Veterans, Spouses and Other Family Members,” comes after VFW legislative efforts called on the House, Senate and White House to improve consumer protections for veterans who seek to use their earned GI Bill benefits. VFW Commander-in-Chief Richard L. DeNoyer applauded the executive order in an official statement.

“The VFW has worked very hard to get these protections created, and the president’s executive order will go far to crack down on the predatory recruiting practices and poor performance of all schools who participate in the Post-9/11 GI Bill, but our fight isn’t over,” he said.

Reports from the Senate and GAO have indicated that student-veterans may be victimized by schools that fail to deliver on their educational promises, creating a perception in Washington that military and veterans’ education dollars are being wasted, because student-veterans are not receiving the education they were promised.

“Veterans make responsible life and death decisions on the battlefield every day, but reports indicate that they aren’t making the same quality decisions about the schools they choose to attend on the G.I. Bill,” said VFW Deputy Legislative Director Ryan Gallucci, who testified on behalf of VFW. “The difference is preparation and information. We prepare our battlefield leaders to make these tough choices and we provide them with quality, accurate information. We fail to prepare our student-veterans for the life-changing decisions they’re about to make, and the information we make available is incomplete, inaccurate and sometimes downright misleading.”

At the hearing, Gallucci discussed why VFW believes the executive order will serve as an important first step in ensuring student-veterans have all the information they need to make a responsible educational choice, and have proper recourse should they become victims of fraud, waste or abuse.

In January and February, VFW worked to build consensus among veterans’ advocates and higher education, calling for improved consumer protections. VFW believes the president’s executive order should serve as the impetus for Congress to quickly move legislation, ensuring consumer protections are written into law.

In his prepared remarks, Gallucci went on to say that executive action is limited to current law and available resources, which is why VFW believes legislative solutions remain the best option.

To view a full list of witnesses and to read their prepared remarks, click here.

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