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Welfare Reform and the College Option in California

Lessons Learned

By Diana Spatz, Jodie Berger & Tamu K. Hamed

Federal welfare reform limited education and training opportunities for parents on public assistance. As a result, perhaps the most significant impact of welfare reform has been to move greater numbers of parents from welfare to low-wage, dead-end jobs. Successful grass-roots and legal advocacy strategies have been used in California to protect access to postsecondary education under welfare reform. In the 2001–2002 reauthorization of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, legislation should be formulated to protect, improve, and encourage such access.

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