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Sarah Solon

Maureen Lane’s Letter to the Editor Runs in the Sunday New York Times

In a letters section that takes its name from Maureen's turn of phrase ("The Journey From Welfare to Work"), Lane offers an indictment of new welfare policies that restrict access to education and toughen work requirements for those receiving public aid.

From the section:

The Journey From Welfare to Work (6 Letters)
Published: August 20, 2006

To the Editor:

According to Douglas J. Besharov ("End Welfare Lite as We Know It," Op-Ed, Aug. 15), the federal government's recent introduction of tougher work requirements is just what states needed to "address the deeper needs of welfare families."

I wonder which "deeper needs" he's addressing. My own welfare journey ended when I was able to connect to the medical and housing services I needed and begin the hard work of education, getting my G.E.D. and then a college degree.

Study after study shows that education is crucial for attaining economic security. Eighty-eight percent of women receiving welfare who graduate from college move permanently out of poverty. Yet these regulations curtail educational opportunities for many receiving welfare by piling on make-work demands without letting states count the long hours spent studying and going to school toward the work required to receive benefits.

Far from addressing needs, the new policy inhibits the ability of people receiving welfare to leave poverty for good.

Maureen Lane
New York, Aug. 16, 2006
The writer is a fellow at the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy and co-director of the Welfare Rights Initiative at Hunter College, CUNY.

(We'll call this "Letter to the Editor of the Year!").

Sarah Solon: Author Bio | Other Posts
Posted at 10:07 AM, Aug 21, 2006 in Education | Letter To The Editor of the Week | Welfare
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