Yesterday, the United States House of Representatives, by a vote of 370 to 43, passed legislation introduced in January by Rep. Cindy Axne (IA-03) to expand access to higher education for alumni fighters to include those enrolled part-time.
Currently, work-study programs are available through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for student veterans enrolled full-time in high school programs, including career or vocational programs. But many veterans struggle to enroll full-time while balancing work, family, and often a VA-related disability. Almost half of all student veterans are married and have at least one dependent child.
Veteran Student Work-Study Modernization Act would allow part-time veteran students access to VA Work Study programs, ensuring they can complete their certification or degree without incurring unmanageable student debt and continue to care for themselves and their families .
“I am so pleased that my legislation passed the House with broad bipartisan support because our veterans have earned their benefits while serving,” Rep. Axne said. “We don’t need to put limits on the education of veterans when they have families to support or mortgages to pay. These programs have left too many veterans unable to use the education benefits they have earned, and I am proud to introduce my bill to remedy that. We must ensure that our veterans receive the education that best suits them and sets them on the path to success.
The Modernization of Veteran Student Work Study Law is endorsed by Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Military Veterans Advocacy, Disabled Veterans of American (DAV), Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), Veteran Education Success, LAW, the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) and the Council for Opportunity in Education.
Representative Axne sponsored measures to increase resources for veterans and continued to work to expand job training programs to all Iowans.
In September 2020, the United States House of Representatives advanced the Transition to Success Act, bipartisan legislation drafted by Axne provide job training and employment assistance to members of the National Guard and Reserve.
In June, Rep. Axne’s bill to create more mental health resources for veterans living in rural areas become law.
In addition, the House of Representatives approved a measure drafted by Representative Axne to stimulate financing of vocational training programs in community colleges.
The Axne amendment, which increases funding for such programs at community colleges to $105 million for the coming fiscal year, was added to the House supply bill. that increases federal funding for US Department of Labor job training programs by more than 10%.