CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Sunday, December 30 2012, the House is scheduled to consider Senate Amendments to H.R. 4057, Improving Transparency of Education Opportunities for Veterans Act of 2012, under a suspension of the rules requiring a two-thirds majority for approval. The bill was introduced on February 16, 2012, by Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) and referred to the Committee on Veterans Affairs. The committee held a mark-up session on July 11, 2012, and ordered the bill to be reported as amended by a voice vote.
H.R. 4057 would require the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide information on educational institutions to veterans and servicemembers and make other changes to programs that provide services to veterans.
Comprehensive policy on providing education information to veterans: The bill would require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) to develop a comprehensive policy to improve outreach and transparency to veterans and members of the Armed Forces through the provision of information on institutions of higher learning. The bill would also require the VA to conduct a market survey of online tools that would allow veterans to assess their academic preparedness to pursue postsecondary education and training opportunities, and provide those veterans with a list of institutions that match the criteria selected by the veteran or servicemember.
The bill would prohibitschools from providing any commission, bonus or other payment incentive based on securing enrollment or financial aid to anyone engaged in student recruitment or the student financial assistance. If a school provides such bonuses, the Department of Education is prohibited from approving any course offered for veterans.
The bill would require the VA toprovide schools with assistance in preparing reports and certifications as required by the bill and would limit the total amount of such awards to $395 million for FY 2013.
According to a committee press release, the bill would, among other things, “create a centralized complaint process to track student issues concerning the GI Bill, as well as require VA to better inform veteran students about education counseling and provide expanded data points for students to help make informed choices about their education.”
A CBO score of the bill as amended by the Senate was not available as of press time.