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Navy scuttles plan to cut Tuition Assistance

Mar. 18, 2014 - 09:03PM   |  
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Navy brass are backing off a plan to make sailors pay more for tuition.

The service will continue to pay sailors’ tuition assistance fully through fiscal year 2015, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jon Greenert said Tuesday at an all-hands call in Kings Bay, Ga., squashing a recent proposal to make sailors foot more of the bill.

The service planned to cut funding by roughly $25 million and move to a system where sailors paid 25 percent and the Navy paid 75 percent for tuition, the same breakdown in place before 2001.

“I'll put the money in, because I want an educated sailor and I want you to leave with all the certifications you can so you can get a good job when you leave the Navy,” he said.

Navy leaders still think the idea of getting sailors to pay toward their tuition is a good idea, but with all the compensation reforms working their way through the system, the timing wasn’t right, said a personnel official on background.

“As conditions change over time, we may decide to revisit the idea of a 75-25 split, but for now we are not going to make a change,” the official said, asking for anonymity to discuss pending proposals.

The official said that the Navy was still looking for ways to make up the difference for the $25 million it had proposed to cut in its 2015 budget, adding that it’s “a priority.”

Staff writer Mark D. Faram contributed to this report.

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