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-now 4 and 9 under part VIII-are identical with the periods originally established for part VIII.
The second of these dates has no relationship to the date of a veteran's discharge or release from active duty. Conceivably, this could mean, if the basic service period should be prolonged, that a person, by taking a course on a part-time basis, could extend the period of education or training long beyond 5 years after the delimiting date for initiating such education or training applicable in his particular case. This would apparently be contrary to the spirit of the bill as an immediate readjustment aid as related to the date of discharge of the individual veteran. The Congress may wish to guard against such possibility and relate the final date for affording education or training in individual cases to the date of the person's discharge. This could be accomplished by modifying the second proviso to read as follows:
That no such course of education or training shall be afforded a person beyond 7 years after the date of his final discharge (or 7 years after the date of enactment of the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1951, if later); but in no event shall a course be afforded beyond 7 years after the termination of the basic: service period.
The conditions existing at the present time would not seem to portend a mass release of service personnel, such as occurred at the end of hostilities in World War II, so that the schools and other training establishments should be able to absorb all trainees under this part without the delays such as influenced the extension of the original limitation periods under part VIII from 2 and 7 years to 4 and 9 years, respectively, pursuant to Public Law 268, Seventy-ninth Congress.
Paragraph 1 contains one administrative feature which has no counterpart in the World War II education or training program. The running of the 2-year period after discharge or release from active duty during which a course may be initiated would be tolled by reentrance into the Armed Forces within the 2 years and during the basic service period until after discharge or release from such subsequent service. This provision is evidently designed to encourage reenlistment during a period when the needs of the armed services for trained personnel would be expected to be at a high level.
In this connection, it may be noted that the first proviso, with respect to the period during which a course of education or training may be initiated, would have retroactive application to the date of discharge, without regard to the date of the enactment of the bill. As the basic service period extends back to June 27, 1950, it would appear that a substantial number of persons might have the contemplated 2-year period considerably reduced. Such an effect is apparently not intended, and the committee may wish to amend the first proviso of paragraph 1 by inserting after the word “discharge” in line 3, page 3 of S. 1940, the parenthetical phrase "or after the date of enactment of the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1951, if later."
Entitlement to courses of education or training to assist in attaining an educational or vocational objective would be granted to all persons who establish basic eligibility under the provisions of paragraph 1 for a period not to exceed the time spent in the active service during the basic service period. Any period of time during which
the veteran was assigned to a civilian institution for a course of education or training under the Army, Navy, or the Air Force, which course was substantially the same as established courses offered to civilians or as a cadet or midshipman would be excluded in computing the period of entitlement. Parenthetically, it may be noted that the principle of excluding the time spent in essentially civilian study was recognized in a somewhat different provision in the World War II program.
A maximum period of entitlement of 12 months is prescribed in the case of any person whose education or training was not interrupted by reason of entrance in the service. Further, it is provided that neither entitlement to education or training under part X, nor (in cases of dual eligibility) the aggregate entitlement under both parts VIII and X, can exceed 48 months.
This computation of the period of entitlement on a month-for-month formula is a significant variation from the existing World War II program of part VIII. Under that part a full year of training is granted to every veteran basically eligible, plus an additional month for each month of service up to a maximum of 48 months. It is evident that the existing program is weighted heavily in favor of a man with a short period of service providing that he had at least 90 days of service, or was released by reason of an actual service-incurred injury or disability.
Apparently, it is the theory of the bill that under current conditions the month-for-month formula is appropriate in the proposed new program for veterans of present service. No definite information is available as to the average period of entitlement under the proposed formula, but it appears likely that it would approximate 24 months, or, translated in terms of the education which would be available, it would amount to 223 school years. As all but a few cases would receive eligibility by reason of at least 90 days' service, the usual minimum entitlement would afford education or training of one school term.
This is assured by the provision that for veterans in schools operating on the quarter or semester system whenever a period of eligibility ends during a quarter or semester, or after the major part of such quarter or semester expires, such period shall be extended to the period of termination of such unexpired quarter or semester. There is a comparable provision for other institutional courses which provides that whenever the period of eligibility ends after a larger portion of the course is completed, such period may be extended not more than 9 weeks to completion.
Paragraph 3 contains a number of important provisions of administration defining both the rights of the veteran and the authority of the Administrator.
The veteran would be granted the right to elect any course of education or training which is not recreational or avocational in character at any approved institution, which finds him qualified for and will accept him in the course so elected. Further, the veteran 'would be permitted to make one change of course, prior to the delimiting date applicable to him, from the course he originally elected to any other approved course which is neither recreational nor avocational as to him. The Administrator may aprove additional changes of courses when he finds that any one of certain specified conditions exists and may discontinue any course of education or training at any time if he finds that the conduct or progress of the veteran is unsatisfactory.
Special provisions are established with regard to correspondence courses. Such course may be elected by any eligible person provided that one-fourth of the elapsed time in following such course shall be charged against his period of eligibility. The Administrator is given authority to contract with approved institutions for correspondence courses if he finds that the agreed cost is fair and reasonable, without regard to the limitations established by paragraph 5 of part X for other types of courses.
Further, the Administrator would be directed to refuse approval to any course elected or commenced by a veteran which is avocational or recreational in nature. Certain listed courses essentially the same as those added to paragraph 9 of part VIII by Public Law 610, Eightyfirst Congress—would be presumed to be avocational or recreational in nature.
The mechanics of the part VIII program for the approval of education or training institutions (including industrial establishments), by appropriate State agencies, would be adapted for the administration of part X. Certain limitations upon this power of approval are established for the apparent purpose of avoiding situations involving poor training and improper tuition charges which have arisen under part VIII. The attention of the Congress was directed to certain situations of this nature in a joint report submitted by the Director of the Bureau of of the Budget and the Administrator of Veterans' Affairs to the President, and by him submitted to the Congress on February 13, 1951 (H. Doc. 466, 81st Cong., 2d sess.).
The specific limitations incorporated in paragraph 4 of the bill consist of (1) the same requirement (with certain exceptions) with respect to operation of a school for at least 1 year before it may be approved under the program as that contained in the existing World War II provisions and (2) a new limitation which would preclude the approval of a profit school for the enrollment of veterans during any period in which the Administrator finds that it has fewer than 25 equivalent full-time students or one-third of the equivalent full-time students enrolled (whichever is larger) who are paying all of their own tuition without rebate or scholarships.
Subparagraph 5 (a) prescribes the method for determining the payments to be made to education or training institutions in behalf of persons enrolled in courses under this part. These provisions are entirely new insofar as the veterans' education and training programs are concerned and appear to be a comprehensive attempt to avoid the difficulties, inadequacies, and administrative complexities of the "customary cost” and “adjusted rate” formulas of part VIII. The proposed method may be summarized as follows: (1) Where subsistence is paid to the trainees, the Government would bear not to exceed onehalf the cost of tuition and fees charged regular nonveteran students in the same category, up to a maximum Government payment of $300; (2) where no subsistence is paid, the Government would pay all tuition and fees required of other students, up to a maximum of $600 for an ordinary school year.
The underlying theory seems to be that if the college or other institution must obtain a substantial portion of the tuition and other charges from the students themselves, normal competitive factors would help to assure that such charges will be fair and reasonable. This would mean that payment of Federal funds on behalf of veterans could be made in many bases to such institution without requiring elaborate cost data. The basis for payment proposed would tend to lessen controversy between the schools and the Government.
It may be noted that profit schools, with a nonveteran enrollment insufficient to insure the operation at least to some extent of competitive factors, could not be deemed qualified and approved for training under part X (par. 4). In the case of nonprofit schools having a nonveteran enrollment, insufficient to provide some assurance of a competitive rate, the Administrator would be directed to establish a fair and reasonable rate to be paid by the Administrator and the veteran. This procedure would apply where the enrollment in any course in a nonprofit school consist of fewer than one-third of the students paying all of their own tuition.
Subparagraph 5 (b) provides for the financial accountability of the school for any overpayment to the veteran of subsistence allowance which is the result of the willful or negligent failure of the school to report to the Veterans Administration the necessary facts respecting absences, discontinuances, or interruption of courses. These provisions are identical with subparagraph 5 (b) of part VIII, as added by section 7 of Public Law 610, Eighty-first Congress.
Paragraph 6 (a) describes the conditions and limitations for the payment of allowances for subsistence, supplies, and equipment to persons enrolled in a course under part X. The rates which would be established are uniformly $5 per month higher than the comparable rates under part VIII, to represent an allowance for supplies and equipment. Consistent with this change the provision in subparagraph 5 (a) of part VIII authorizing payment by the Administratorfor books, supplies, equipment, and other necessary expenses, exclusive of board, lodging, other living expenses, and travel, as are generally required for the successful pursuit and completion of the course by other students in the institutionis not included in part X. The provision for a flat monthly increase in the allowance to be paid the veteran to cover the expenses which the student or trainee would incur on the average for books, supplies, and equipment in lieu of payment of the actual expenses incurred for such purposes by the individual veteran is designed to permit administrative simplifications and to eliminate a potent source of abuse.
Monthly certification of attendance would be required before payments are made to the veteran. The period during which the allowance for subsistence, supplies, and equipment may be paid is defined
beginning with the first day of required attendance and ending with the last day of required attendance of a given academic year or other enrollment period, including not in excess of 30 days in a calendar year for absences authorized by the institution or establishment and days when the institution is not regularly in session, not counting as absences week ends or legal holidays established by Federal or State law during which the institution is not regularly in session. This language is apparently designed to furnish specific guides concerning the matter of allowable absences and eliminate the difficulties arising from the leave provisions as contained in paragraph 6, part VIII.
The allowances payable for subsistence, supplies (including books), and equipment would be at the following rates for full-time courses:
The rates indicated are computed on a pro rata basis for authorized part-time situations.
Supplies, subsistence, and equipment allowance payments for onthe-job and institutional on-farm training would be subject to automatic adjustment as the course progresses in accordance with a preestablished formula rather than individually adjusted on the basis of the changing relationship between the trainee wage and the wage paid to a trained person in the particular trade or occupation as has been provided by regulation under part VIII. The formula which would be established for this purpose provides that the allowance shall be reduced each 4 months as the course progresses “in the ratio that such 4 months' period bears to the total length of the veteran's approved course under this part, converted to the next higher 4 months' interval in the case of a course which is not equal to an exact multiple of 4 months.” The language, “veteran's approved course under this part," is apparently intended to refer to the course, or part thereof, only to the extent that the veteran has entitlement under part X so that he would not be given the benefit, for the purpose of applying the reduction formula, of any portion of a course which exceeds his entitlement.
It is noted that the lower rates of $70 and $95 would be applicable under item (2) of the first proviso of paragraph 6 (a) to a "combination course." This ordinarily refers, under regulations of the Veterans Administration pertaining to the part VIII program, to courses which are primarily training on the job with supplemental related instruction. In view of this general characteristic the committee may deem it desirable to insert the phrase "or a combination course” immediately following the word "job” in line 23, page 11, of the bill so that the 4 months' reduction formula will apply to such courses as a whole as well as to institutional on-farm courses which are already included in the second proviso along with apprentice