VA Commits To Support Classes For Nearly 1,000 Tennessee Veterans

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker and U.S. Reps. Diane Black and Phil Roe Tuesday announced that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs had reversed its previous decision not to fund innovative learning support classes for Tennessee veterans pursuing further education under the G.I. Bill.  

The classes – which prepare veterans for college and other higher educational programs using new technologies and approaches to increase graduation rates and reduce costs – are available at 13 community colleges throughout Tennessee and will now receive federal support as other classes do under the G.I. bill. The VA had previously stated it would not provide funding that veterans normally receive under the G.I. Bill for such classes. 

Senator Alexander said, “This is a major victory for veterans in Tennessee who are trying to improve their education – as well as an example of Washington getting out of the way of local decision making and innovation. We owe the men and women of our Armed Services a debt we couldn’t possibly repay, and helping them build new skills and climb the economic ladder is a move in the right direction. I thank Senator Corker and Congressmen Black and Roe for joining in this crucial effort to get Veterans Affairs to reverse its decision.”

Senator Corker said, “Our service members, military retirees and veterans should receive every benefit that America has promised them. I am pleased to have joined my colleagues in urging Veterans Affairs to resolve this issue, and I will continue working to ensure Tennessee veterans have access to the educational resources they have earned.”

Rep. Black said, “I commend the VA for reversing this decision and agreeing to this essential funding to help our Tennessee veterans. We must do all we can to help our nation’s finest receive quality educations and good jobs upon returning from service, and this decision is a necessary step in the right direction. I thank Senators Alexander and Corker and Congressman Roe for their help protecting the best interests of our servicemen, and of our local community colleges as well.”

Rep. Roe said, “Our nation’s heroes deserve the chance to continue their education, and I am proud the VA has recognized that many veterans want to take advantage of these important classes. Each veteran has his or her own unique education needs, and a one-size-fits-all approach dictated by bureaucrats rarely works for any program. I thank Senator Alexander, Senator Corker and Rep. Black for their work to keep Washington from interfering with the education needs of our veterans.”

The learning support classes being utilized by Tennessee’s community colleges are redesigned remedial courses that have been specifically developed to help veterans and other students build the skills they need to be successful in their credit-bearing courses faster than with traditional models.  

The Department of Veterans Affairs had previously classified the classes as “independent study,” which would not qualify for funding under the G.I. Bill.  Senators Alexander and Corker and Reps. Black and Roe aided local community colleges in making the case that the classes – which include classrooms and instructors – are innovative programs that should still qualify for the same support that traditional veterans’ education courses do.

The classes are taught at Chattanooga State Community College, Cleveland State Community College, Columbia State Community College, Dyersburg State Community College, Jackson State Community College, Motlow State Community College, Nashville State Community College, Northeast State Community College, Pellissippi State Community College, Roane State Community College, Southwest Tennessee Community College, Volunteer State Community College and Walters State Community College.

PHOTOS: Lakeside Academy STEM Lab Dedication

TDOE Advances Reading Goals Through New Coaching Network

Tennessee Department of Education Commissioner Candice McQueen announced Monday the launch of the Read to be Ready coaching network. Two-hundred coaches and two-thirds of Tennessee school districts are participating in the new coaching network that is designed to provide intensive support and professional learning opportunities for educators focused on early grades reading. ... (click for more)

Man Says He Did Nothing To Provoke Shooting At Bakewell Gas Station; Suspect Says Victim Was Coming Toward Him

A 33-year-old man who was shot in the face during a clash at a Bakewell gas station said he did nothing to provoke the shooting. The man charged said the victim cursed him, then started toward him. General Sessions Court Judge Clarence Shattuck, after a hearing on Tuesday, bound to the Grand Jury a charge of attempted first-degree murder against Donald Stuard II, 29, of Old Washington ... (click for more)

Councilman Banks Asks Bradley Schools To Dismiss Liquor-By-The-Drink Lawsuit; Fivas Hits The Ground Running

The courts have twice ruled in favor of the city of Cleveland regarding taxes generated by the sale of liquor-by-the-drink, Councilman Richard Banks noted at the Cleveland City Council meeting Monday afternoon. Therefore, he made a motion to ask the new Bradley County School Board to dismiss its lawsuit against Cleveland. That board has been seeking to be paid a large portion of ... (click for more)

Of Course Gangs Are A Public Nuisance

Now, I don't know it all.  Beginning with my parents, folks of all sorts have been actively pointing out my ignorance for more than seven decades now.  So I'm well aware that I don't know it all.  In recent months I've begun to develop an appreciation for the local work of Mr. Neal Pinkston; I've been impressed with several things he's been doing in his official ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Arnold Palmer’s Greatness

This is hardly meant to be flippant but I’d be willing to bet I’ve been in the presence of more great people than anyone you know. I’ve never ranked them, or ever dared to wonder who was the greatest, such as Muhammad Ali or Elvis Presley, but there are two traits that those who reach the highest pinnacle have in common. First, not a one of them was any good at what made them famous ... (click for more)