May 25 2012

Expand G.I. Bill to Veterans’ Children

Vicki E. Alger

States could save more than $92 million annually and expand education options by letting veterans direct their education benefits to their children using Military Education Savings Accounts.

In 1944, Congress passed what is today known as the Montgomery G.I. Bill. By putting a college education within the financial reach of veterans, the G.I. Bill is credited with growing the American middle class and ushering in one of the longest economic expansions in history.  Recent changes to it allow veterans to transfer their education benefits to their college-age children, but not their school-age children who need better options. 

Given such success, it’s time to expand the G.I. Bill concept to K-12 students who need better education options. Ensuring the availability of high-quality education options is also critical to military recruitment and retention, with top officials reporting that military parents with school-age children are reluctant to accept assignments to areas with poorly performing schools.

“Parents know that having more options leads to better outcomes.  That’s why across the country, policymakers are creating programs that give parents more control over where and how their children are educated,” said Carrie Lukas, IWF’s managing director. “Surely our servicemen and women deserve the same kind of freedom and flexibility.”

 

Read the full policy paper here: “Gratitude for Our Armed Forces Should Not Stop at the Schoolhouse Door: Providing Educational Choice through Military Education Savings Accounts.”

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