A Senate committee Tuesday voted to cut funding for the MyCAA scholarship program by $120 million at the request of the Defense Department.
That moved sparked rampant speculation among military spouse and family organizations about just what was up with the DoD and MyCAA. They originally told the committee they needed $190 to fund the program this year. Now they only want $70 million due to what they called “its redesign.”
After digging around most of the afternoon, we came up with this answer: DoD is not planning to cut MyCAA anymore than it already did last year. Instead, they need less money because fewer spouses than expected are using the program thanks to those cuts.
Surprised? Officials with the National Military Family Association aren’t. Katie Savant, the government relations official and a deputy director there, said that anecdotally she’s not sure the program is getting anywhere near the interest it did before the rates were capped and many spouses were blocked from use.
“I’m not getting as much feedback about the program as we did when it was open before. I hear from the spouses that are not eligible, but I don’t hear from the spouses that are using the program,” she said. “Before they talked about it as the greatest thing ever … and I don’t hear that from those that are using it now. So is that population happy with it? No one really knows because they aren’t talking about it.”
You can read the rest of my story at Military.com here. But let us know in the comments what you think about this issue. Are fewer of the eligible people using the program because the benefit isn’t as enticing? Or do you think something else is up?