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

Tuesday, January 07, 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.

GPS Takes Best Delegation And Runner-Up Delegation At Model UN Conference

The Best Delegation (France) and Runner-Up Delegation (Mexico) awards both went to GPS at the Southeastern High School Model United nations conference.  GPS sponsor Glen Vey said the teams “distinguished themselves.” This is the third time in four years that GPS has been recognized as Best Delegation. This year’s conference hosted 13 schools from Chattanooga and beyond, ... (click for more)

Chattanooga State Boosts LaPaz Food Drive

Students, faculty and staff banded together in support of the annual food drive to La Paz Chattanooga. A total of 41 boxes of food were collected, packed and delivered on Monday in time for Thanksgiving. According to Dr. Katheryn Thompson, Spanish Club advisor, “It was the most boxes we ever have been able to deliver and it was all due to the support of our students and campus community.” ... (click for more)

1 Dies, 1 Critically Injured In North Chattanooga House Fire

For the second time in three days, a house fire has resulted in tragedy with a 35-year-old woman dying and a man critically injured in North Chattanooga. At 10:13 a.m. on Wednesday, Chattanooga firefighters were dispatched to a reported house fire with entrapment at 220 Houser St. The first firefighters on the scene saw flames shooting out windows and part of the roof. Having ... (click for more)

Appeal Dropped In $25 Million Lawsuit Filed Against Hennen's Restaurant By Lisa Barnes

An appeal has been dropped of a Circuit Court jury verdict that found Hennen's Restaurant not at fault in a $25 million lawsuit brought by Lisa Barnes. Circuit Court officials said the appeal was "voluntarily" dropped. It had been set to be reviewed by the Tennessee Court of Appeals. The verdict in the courtroom of Judge Neil Thomas in early February came at the end of ... (click for more)

Lawlessness At Heritage Park

As a frequent visitor at Heritage Park in East Brainerd, I must say that the situation is becoming slightly out of control.  To start, parking is atrocious.  The unpaved lot contains nothing but loose gravel which has naturally given way to divots in the ground assuring you a few bumps.  Why isn't this area smoothed out?  It's not worth parking there anyways ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Why I Am Thankful 2014

Over 40 years ago I was a young sports writer when I came up with the notion of setting daily things aside, just for one day, and writing about why “I Am Thankful.” Every Thanksgiving I come up with my list and it is as much about me as it is about my gratitude for all things great and small. I can’t imagine approaching this day in any other way. Here we go … I AM THANKFUL for ... (click for more)