New York state waiving tuition fees for children of fallen service members

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(AP) – New York state will grant free state tuition and room and board to the families of New York military members who are killed or disabled while on duty.

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the move Wednesday, days after Republican lawmakers accused the Democrat-led state Assembly of blocking legislation to expand scholarships for Gold Star families.

Cuomo said there’s no need to wait for lawmakers to act, so he has directed education officials to begin covering tuition costs for dependents of fallen or permanently disabled service members.

The state already covered tuition for dependents of service members killed or disabled in combat or in training — but that didn’t cover all military deaths or injuries.

Cuomo says the expansion will cost “several million dollars” but that it’s a small price to honor Gold Star families.

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