In fiscal year 2006, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) paid $19 million to state approving agencies (SAA) to assess whether schools and training programs are of sufficient quality for veterans to receive VA education assistance benefits when attending them. The Departments of Education and Labor also assess education and training programs for various purposes. This testimony describes (1) changes that have occurred in state approving agencies' duties and functions since 1995, (2) the extent to which the SAA approval process overlaps with efforts by the Departments of Education and Labor, and (3) the additional value that SAA approval activities bring to VA education benefit programs. This testimony is based on a March 2007 report (GAO-07-384).
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