Congressman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) today announced the introduction of H.R. 595, the Veterans' Education Equity Act of 2013, to reward equal educational benefits to veterans whether they choose to attend a private or public institution of higher learning. The bill would change an inequity in existing law which allots more education funds to veterans enrolled in private colleges than those in public institutions. Currently, the Post 9-11 Veterans' Educational Improvements Assistance Act capped the education benefit amount for veterans who enroll in private schools at $18,077.50 and limited the education benefit for those who enroll in public schools to the amount charged for in-state tuition and fees. The Veterans' Education Equity Act of 2013 would remedy this inequality and allow all veterans to receive up to $18,077.50 in education benefits.
"The current law unintentionally burdens a significant number of American veterans, requiring them to pay out-of-pocket thousands of dollars in nonresidential tuition rates, which could add up to more than $80,000 in North Carolina," said Butterfield. "This legislation is an important step towards honoring those who serve and helping them prepare for civilian life."
The bill has received the support of the American Council on Education, the Association of State Colleges and Universities, the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, the Association of American Universities, the American Association of Community Colleges, the University of North Carolina System, and the North Carolina Community College System.
Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced the companion bill, S. 262, last week.