It has been a busy week here, looking every which way to find out more about the MyCAA situation. I had a nice email from someone pretty high up in the Navy Fleet and Family Services program who told me that they heard the same way I did. Yesterday and today have brought a flurry of stories in various locations:
From Defense.gov, Defense Department Pauses Spouse Employment Program. Not much news here. I am still astounded by the number of spouses who were participating in the program. No wonder Military One Source was overwhelmed and unable to keep up with things. Between the poorly structured website and the sheer volume, it seems like they never had much of a chance.
Also from the Department of Defense, Elaine Wilson writes at the Family Matters Blog, Employment Program Temporarily Halts. There are a couple of interesting things here. First, I'm noticing a trend of talking about using the GI Bill instead of the MyCAA account. That is a lovely idea, but the GI Bill still isn't working well for people to applied last summer. There is no way that is going to replace MyCAA funding for people currently in school. Second, if you look at the blog main page, you might notice that two posts down, from February 17th, is a story about a spouse going back to school. It specifically tags the MyCAA program in the post. Sort of ironic that the DOD's American Forces Press Service was promoting a program that they had already shut down, even if temporarily. It certainly demonstrates the level of confusion out there.
From MOAA, the Military Officers Association of America, comes this interesting analysis that also references the GI Bill: Spouse Career Aid Program Screeches to Halt. It is encouraging that MOAA is with the spouses on this issue - they are a powerful advocacy group.
In just released news, Senator Burr of North Carolina has addressed this issue on the Burr Blog. No answers, but nice to know that people are paying attention.
From all that I have read and been told, it does appear that any classes that had been approved prior to February 16th (actually approved, with an approval letter) will be paid for through the MyCAA program. That is good news for people who are currently in classes and were concerned about getting stuck with the bill. I know that isn't much consolation for others, but it is a tremendous thing for many.
If you are a member of Facebook, you may be interested in a FB group called Take Action Against MyCAA Shutdown.
Don't forget you can find more MyCAA information at The Paycheck Chronicles MyCAA page.