Sen. James Webb, D-Va., and Rep. Harry Mitchell, D-Ariz., worked as a team last spring and summer to introduce legislation that would provide educational assistance to those who'd served on active military duty on or since Sept. 11, 2001. Their main interest was to offer a GI Bill of similar value to the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944, which dramatically improved the U.S. economy and educated millions after World War II. The Post 9/11 GI Bill will:
- Provide "up-front" tuition vouchers directly to educational institutions veterans are attending.
- Allow public -private institutions to match specific scholarships for tuition, improving veteran access to those institutions.
- Deliver a monthly living stipend, based on the local cost of living, to most veterans.
- Provide a book allowance of $1,000 per year.
- Allow the accumulation of active-duty service periods to earn higher education benefits. Approximately 25 percent of reservists have served multiple tours. Qualifying them for the higher benefit rate.
- Extend the window of time to use the benefit from 10 years to 15 after discharge or separation.
- Allow active-duty personnel and veterans to transfer their GI Bill benefits to a spouse after six years of active duty, and to a child after 10 years of active duty.