The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides educational benefits for eligible veterans, military personnel, and their spouses and children who are enrolled in approved programs of education. Those programs must be approved by the State Approving Agency (SAA) in the state where they are offered.
Under current law, programs that are offered in more than one state must be approved by the SAA in every state in which they operate. H.R. 3949 would allow the SAA in the state in which a multistate apprenticeship program is headquartered to approve a program for nationwide use as long as it meets the minimum standards for such programs established by the Department of Labor.
VA subsidizes the SAAs’ costs of approving programs from mandatory appropriations; that funding is capped at $21 million in 2018 and is adjusted annually for inflation. Because the agencies indicate that VA funding does not cover all the costs of approving education programs, CBO expects that any savings from reducing the number of approvals for multistate apprenticeship programs would be used to cover other unreimbursed expenses. Thus, implementing H.R. 3949 would have no net effect on direct spending.