Morning Read: Tuition assistance program for soldiers is back!

Photo: National Center for Veteran Studies

Good (late) morning! Today at ncpr.org, all about Sen. Charles Schumer’s visit to Massena yesterday, wherein the senator urged the Environmental Protection Agency to approve a final cost for Alcoa’s cleanup of the Grasse River. The EPA has put forth several plans for the cleanup of PCBs that the company dumped in the river in the 1950s and ’60s; Schumer says Alcoa has agreed to a plan that will cost $245 million, but the EPA hasn’t announced its final decision.

Saranac Lake’s incoming superintendent says her biggest challenge is going to be dealing with the district’s budget: It’s struggling to find a way to preserve core programs while closing a budget gap of more than $1 million. In Watertown, kids are doing all kinds of arty things at the North Country Arts Council; and (this is so cool) we look at a baseball uniform from the 1870s in the Adirondack Museum.

We also have today a story about how SUNY Oswego is training people “on the front lines” with returning soldiers and their families to deal with the trauma and mental health issues many of those soldiers are experiencing.

In another Fort Drum-related education story this morning from the Watertown Daily Times, some good news! I blogged last month about sequestration’s affects on military education support: At that time, the army suspended its military tuition assistance program, a move that not only affected servicemembers but also was set to cost Jefferson Community College (one third of whose students are either military or have spouses who are), by their estimation, $100,000.

Now that funding has been reinstated, the paper reports. The program’s being reinstated after Congress passed an appropriations bill funding the Department of Defense; President Barack Obama has signed that bill into law, so the money will be available again…at some point. The paper reports that a decision on when the benefit will return “has not been finalized”.

The response from JCC has been enthusiastic and somewhat tentative. The college’s director of military programs says the government’s commitment to servicemembers is “heartwarming,” but that he’s more excited for when the funding’s actually resumed, “when soldiers can log in and sign up for classes.”

The paper also reports that the college is holding a series of weekly education sessions to help military students find new state and federal aid money; more information about those is in the article.

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2 Comments on “Morning Read: Tuition assistance program for soldiers is back!”

  1. Harumph… why should I, as a taxpayer, be subsidizing someone else’s health ca… I mean education?! These people have jobs. It should be easy enough for them to pay for health ca… I mean education, themselves!

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  2. david says:

    Wow. Yet they still plan on furloughing Civil servants who are the biggest losers in this. Screw this

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