VICE PRESIDENT GORE ANNOUNCES SUPPORT FOR HISTORIC INCREASE IN VETERANS'
EDUCATION BENEFITS THROUGH THE MONTGOMERY GI BILL
Washington, DC--Vice President Gore announced today a proposal that
includes the largest, single increase in veterans' education benefits in
the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) program's 16-year history. These
improvements, which cost $1.2 billion over 5 years, would be fully
funded by the continuation of sensible savings policies in veterans'
programs passed in 1997.
"The key to opportunity is education and our veterans deserve an
education that is second to none," Vice President Gore said. "The
proposal I introduced today provides the single largest increase in
veterans' education benefits since the program was created."
"We have to uphold a simple principle when it comes to our veterans'
education: those who fight for our security should never have to fight
for the education they need to succeed,"Vice President Gore said.
The Administrations proposal supports: (1) increasing education
benefits by 25 percent in 2001, to $670 per month; (2) providing the
same percentage increase in 2001 to survivors and dependents and, for
the first time, indexing these benefits in subsequent years to
inflation; and (3) allowing veterans to use their education benefits for
licensing and certification.
This proposal nearly doubles education benefits from the time that
President Clinton took office. It complements the significant
improvements in veterans' health funding as well as the Administration's
unprecedented commitment to improving military recruitment. The Vice
President and President will urge Congress to pass this important
proposal this year.
Specifically, the proposal would:
Increase benefit to $670 in 2001. Increase education benefits
awarded to past and current active-duty personnel by 25 percent, from
$536 today to $670 on October 1st. This is a much larger increase than
the estimated 2.6 percent cost-of-living increase that would otherwise
Increase survivor and dependents' benefits. Provide the same 25
percent benefit increase for survivors and dependents on October 1st,
and change the law to automatically increase these benefits each year in
the future for the cost-of-living.
Modernize and make benefit more flexible. Allow veterans to use
their benefits for licensing and certification and during longer school
Additionally, the proposal reemphasizes the need to strengthen the
Montgomery GI Bill through:
Reinforcing US commitment to education for our Nation's veterans.
Since 1944, the United States has provided education benefits to the
millions of men and women who served in our Armed Forces to help in
their transition to civilian life, including veterans of the Korean
conflict, the Vietnam War, and peacetime veterans after Vietnam. This
program provides up to 36 months of education benefits to eligible
veterans for college, business, technical or vocational school,
correspondence courses, apprenticeship/ job training; and flight
training (in some cases); and complements other public education
assistance available to veterans.
Providing important incentives to join the Armed Forces. Recent
surveys indicate that education assistance is the most important reason
young men and women indicate for their joining the service. Moreover,
education benefits have also contributed to service members' completing
their first tour of active duty.
Enhancing the GI Bill to meet the needs of a new generation of
service members and veterans. Today, the benefit level covers only the
average tuition in a four-year public university. Greater reliance will
be placed on non-traditional methods of learning and increased focus on
high-tech training. Private corporations will provide more training and
greater emphasis will be placed on lifetime learning and continuing