Measure To Reinstate Military Tuition Assistance Dies In Senate

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Joint Base Lewis-McChord

Soldiers at Joint Base Lewis-McChord manage their education records and request Tuition Assistance, July 2012.

A bipartisan measure put forth by two U.S. senators to reinstate military Tuition Assistance programs failed to make it out of the Senate this week.

Stars and Stripes reports the budget amendment by Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma died when the Senate approved a budget measure without any amendments at all.

Hagen responded:

“We owe it to the men and women in uniform — many of whom joined so they could further their education after protecting our country — to hold up our commitment to them. It is unacceptable to attempt to balance the budget on the backs of our servicemembers.”

Military Tuition Assistance programs assisted roughly 300,000 service members in Fiscal Year 2012, with 50,000 earning a degree, diploma, or certificate toward their education, according to Hagan.

Sequestration cuts have prompted the Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard to suspend enrollment in their Tuition Assistance programs.

The Navy Times reported this week that Navy officials want to maintain their Tuition Assistance program. Vice Adm. Scott Van Buskirk was quoted as saying he hopes "to maintain the program for everyone who is eligible, at least through September."

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