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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.
5/17/1988--Introduced. Veterans' Educational Assistance Improvements Act of 1988 - Title I: Educational Assistance and Vocational Rehabilitation Program Improvements - Amends Federal veterans' benefits provisions to make cooperative training benefits available both to veterans entitled to: (1) educational assistance under the Montgomery GI Bill active-duty educational assistance program; and (2) educational assistance under the post-Vietnam Era Educational Assistance program. Authorizes payment through the Veterans Administration (VA) for such training at 80 percent of the basic full-time monthly rate otherwise payable, with the member's educational assistance entitlement charged accordingly. Eliminates the reference to a high school equivalency certificate (as a requirement for eligibility for educational benefits under the Montgomery GI Bill), instead requiring that an individual have certain alternate school credentials accepted by the armed forces, pursuant to regulations promulgated by the Secretary of Defense, which are equivalent to a secondary school diploma. Provides that a person who receives an early discharge from service for a preexisting medical condition which the Administrator of Veterans Affairs determines is not service-connected and, as a result of such discharge or release, does not meet the length-of-service requirements for entitlement to educational assistance, shall be entitled to receive military pay equal to the entire amount of his or her military pay reduction previously taken for participation in such program, less any inservice educational assistance received before such release or discharge. Authorizes an individual who is eligible for educational assistance and who is separated from service prior to the completion of his or her four-year Selected Reserve obligation due to disability, hardship, or the convenience of the Government, to elect whether he or she wants to receive entitlement based on two years of active-duty obligation or to receive such entitlement based on four years of Selected Reserve duty. Authorizes the use of nonpay work training programs for veterans in State or local government agencies (currently, such veterans may only obtain such nonpay work training programs through Federal agencies), supported in whole or in part with Federal funding, to provide appropriate training or work experience for an eligible service-disabled veteran under the veterans' vocational rehabilitation program. Requires the VA to promulgate regulations to monitor and guard against abuse of such free resource by the employing agency and to ensure that such training is in the best interest of the veterans and the Federal Government. Limits the amount of educational assistance payable to a veteran under the post-Vietnam Era Veterans' Educational Assistance program when such veterans are incarcerated in a Federal, State, or local penal institution for conviction of a felony. Reduces such amount to the lesser of the amount otherwise payable or the established charges for tuition, fees, and necessary books, supplies, and equipment. Reduces such amount further to the extent tuition and fees are paid under other non-VA governmental programs. Title II: Administrative Provisions - Revises current Federal provisions which provide for the measurement of certain unit courses or subjects pursued by veterans toward a standard college degree to measure such course enrollment by converting the credit hours being pursued to equivalent clock hours, and combining this number with the actual number of clock hours concurrently pursued, if any, to determine appropriate training time to be credited to such veterans. Extends through December 31, 1993, the Veterans' Advisory Committee on Education. Amends various veterans' educational assistance provisions to permit eligible veterans to receive payment for the pursuit of remedial, refresher, or deficiency courses, with an appropriate charge to that individual's total educational assistance entitlement. Provides that certain individuals' entitlement to educational assistance will be computed from the date of first entry on active duty. (Currently, the entitlement period begins on the period after the individual's basic pay is reduced for such educational assistance.) Provides for a proportionate reduction in educational assistance entitlement in accordance with the reduction in monthly educational assistance allowance paid when a veteran pursuing an apprenticeship or other on-the-job training program fails to work at least 120 hours in a month. Provides the same proportionate reduction for educational assistance benefits under the post-Vietnam Era Educational Assistance program for failure to complete 120 hours of apprenticeship or other on-the-job training in a month. Requires the Assistant Secretary for Force Management and Personnel to be an ex officio member of the Commission to Assess Veterans' Education Policy.