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Walker Budget Would Reduce Reimbursements For Veteran Education

Veterans Affairs Secretary Say Most Wisconsin Vets Seek Funding Elsewhere

Felipe Gacharna (CC-BY-NC)

Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed budget reduces funding for a tuition reimbursement program used by veterans. Some Democrats on the Joint Finance Committee are concerned and have written to the secretary of veterans affairs.

The Veterans Education Reimbursement Grant program, also known as VetEd, reimburses students for tuition and fees after they’ve completed school. Money was leftover in the last budget and Democrats on the JFC want to know if there’s adequate outreach. Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary John Scocos said there is, but many veterans are using other programs to pay for school.

“Now most of our returning veterans are using the federal GI Bill, the Wisconsin GI Bill. Both of those provide tremendous resources,” Scocos said. “So the VetEd that came out years ago, fewer folks are using it.”

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The governor’s proposal reduces funding in the VetEd program by $750,000 in the first year of the biennial budget. Scocos said that unused money in last year’s program was redirected to nonprofit agencies that help feed and provide mental health services for vets.

Scocos said the VetEd program will continue but the size of future funding will probably diminish as vets use other programs.

From the governor’s budget:


Governor: Reduce funding by $750,000 in 2015-16 for the veterans tuition reimbursement program, to reflect a reduction in the demand for reimbursement under the program. The program reimburses up to 100% of the cost of undergraduate tuition and fees or high school tuition or program cost. The Veterans Education (VetEd) grant program provides a reimbursement grant for tuition and fees following successful course completion. In 2013-14, the program provided reimbursement grants totaling $456,000 to 114 veterans.