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.


Cleveland State Debate Team Brings Home Awards

The Cleveland State Debate Team has something to smile about. The team just returned from two tournaments with three trophies! The team recently attended the Smoky Mountain Debate Tournament at Walter’s State Community College where Team Captain Alex Olive won fourth   place in the Novice Speaker Awards competition in a field of over 100 students. The team also attended the ... (click for more)

Mission: Remission Presents Students Opportunity For Remembrance, Awareness

For this year’s sixth annual cancer awareness fundraiser, Mission: Remission, GPS and McCallie students convened on McCallie’s campus to honor those affected by cancer. GPS Student Council President Blythe May introduced the student speakers of the event: Charlotte Vance, Max Ransom, and Ryan Crump.  Charlotte spoke from personal experience about her battle with childhood ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain To Hold Public Meetings On Idea Of Setting Up Own School System

Discussion about follow-up public meetings regarding the Signal Mountain School System Viability Committee (SMSSVC) report dominated the council’s work session on Friday afternoon. Council member Dan Landrum’s opinion about how to proceed differed from the other four council members. Mr. Landrum argued to end the study and to hold no public meetings. His reason was that of the 738 ... (click for more)

Man Shot Multiple Times In Cleveland; Jesus Teague, 14, Is Arrested

On Saturday, at 6:12 a.m., Cleveland Police Department responded to 1210 Elrod Place SE in reference to a domestic disturbance.   A man sustained multiple gunshot wounds and was transported to Erlanger by Life Force. His condition is stable, at this time.   The suspect, Jesus Tyler Teague, 14, was located and was in custody as of 3:25 p.m. ... (click for more)

October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Myth And Fact Check

My husband and I recently had the privilege of participating in the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk in Chattanooga. I listened as my husband told the audience about how his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when he was nine and how she died from the disease when he was fourteen. As a child, my husband didn’t understand what breast cancer ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

Bill Pennington, a sports writer for the New York Times, was lamenting the “huddle” is slowly disappearing in football due to the faster pace of the game and, during his search for more information, he called former Washington Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann. Bill wrote that Joe couldn’t stop laughing about the funny things that would happen between plays. Joe told this story: ... (click for more)