Introduced bill looks to make distance learning more accessible for GI Bill beneficiaries


(Photo: U.S. Navy, Carla M. McCarthy/Released)

If Californian Congresswoman Norma Torres has her way, Post 9/11 GI Bill beneficiaries wishing to access distance learning will have an easier–and cheaper–access point. Torres (D-CA) introduced the GI Bill Distance Learning Improvement Act on November 9, two days before Veterans Day.

“The GI Bill Distance Learning Improvement Act would allow veterans to use additional benefits on a one-time purchase of a computer to complete distance learning classes,” Torres’ press release said.

“My bill will update the Post 9/11 GI Bill opportunities to be more in line with educational, training, and workforce needs,” Torres says. She ascertains that some veterans and beneficiaries may not have computers or the internet, making distance learning for certifications “needed for advanced manufacturing jobs” inaccessible.

 

Currently, those enrolled in online or distance learning programs are only able to “receive half the educational benefits compared to those enrolled in-residence.” Torres maintains that the stipend allowed for supplies cannot also cover a computer necessary for distance education; however, her bill would work to make stipends and funding more flexible for computer purchases.

At time of publishing, the text the GI Bill Distance Learning Improvement Act was not yet available on Congress.gov.

By J.G. Noll