GAO: VA Spends $10 Billion On Ed, Still Has No Clue

GAO GI Bill VA Education Benefits

GAO just released a report on how VA has administered veterans’ education benefits. I can summarize the report in three words, “VA Still Clueless.”

The report highlighted VA’s inability to respond to the needs of student veterans.

According to the report, “little is known about veterans’ postsecondary outcomes.” Meaning, VA still has no idea about student outcomes after student veterans use their GI Bill benefits.

“VA does not have a plan for using new student veteran outcomes data to improve its education programs.” Despite being data rich, VA and Dept of Education have been unable to work together to collate the data into something useful.

All VA needs to do is require all colleges put an extra box on the PDF or online form for filing, “Did veteran graduate?” Perhaps that would be too cheap and easy.

Delays are still longer than expected, and VA is withholding data about processing problems. Veterans are forced into hardships due to the delays.

“I just paid my rent today. I was about to get evicted because – I had to take out a loan – because of the payment… the VA had no paid. It does pose a lot of stress.” – Student Veteran

Limited support on campuses for veterans has led many colleges to develop independent support programs to help veterans access their benefits.

VA has finally responded by creating a pilot program on 32 campuses where it supplies a VA employee to help with claims. The program is called VetSuccess.

Unfortunately, VA only plans to provide a VetSuccess worker at schools with over 500 veterans. So, it does not sound like this solution is a real fix. Instead, it sounds like some unrealistic, detached VA manager is merely throwing mud at the side of a barn to see what sticks.

A cheaper solution would be to work with colleges across the country to create online data warehouses that help veterans learn how to access their benefits. Of course, this would likely be too simple and inexpensive for VA to actually create.

In closing, after 70 years following the creation of the GI Bill, VA still does not know how to implement the program in an efficient manner.

I think we should just fire them all. Hire TurboTax to create an easy online solution that processes claims and tracks veteran outcomes.

Instead, VA convinced Congress to allow them to create a program from scratch. So, Congress approved and VA then sent the money right to the Navy to create the system.

Five years and $263 million later, the program is still not done. Nor does it work right.

This is truly pathetic.

Here is the report:

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  1. The VA has been a stopping off place for the incompetence testing. If the administrator or doctor fails then he/she get’s promoted to a position that is sure to take the lives of veterans one way or another. I have a tee-shirt that has written on it: “Hey, Hey VA HOW MANY VETERANS DID YOU KILL TODAY?” They lie as usual and say none. Those “none” didn’t die because they were smart enough to get heath care some where else….by the way if your a veteran who was wounded and injured in combat get to the end of the line! We at the Martinez Veterans Administration Clinic always treat those who tripped over the curb first. I want to know if it is standard procedure to order KY by the case load and have it sent to Rubin Soto the patient advocate in Martinez? I sorry that veterans from the Middle East war’s will not be taken care of…I am sad that how many will die after seeing Soliman or Nolan (shrinks at Mare Island VA Clinic, funny they have a supply of KY too). The education benefits should be a no hassle benefit! The raise’s don’t stop for the incompetence nor do the promotion’s. I believe it is something like, kill a G.I. today and you will be in the running for Allison Hickey’s vacated position someday…did you know that welfare people get taken care of at the more poorly run facilities? I heard that was the case at Martinez VA Hell Clinic…wonder if it is true? VA Piss Poor in all area’s, is this true?

  2. It is truly amazing that we are continuing to rely on a broken system. Maybe we should march on Washingto as our forwarriors did 70 years ago to get their education bill. There are many issues that the VA is ignorant to, like the stressors that comes with trying to concentrate on your studies after combat. As a cognitive educator teaching studnets with emotional disabilities I had to create an atmosphere that was conducive to learning, to include soft lighting, mozart, and some type of relaxing aroma. Once I got my student to focus they tested off the charts and academically performed as pure genious. Many veterans are dropping out of school (85%) because of anxiety and frustration over not being able to access, and remember the material; its not rocket science, if the mind is fighting just to remain sane then education and learning becomes secondary.

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