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Ten Years Later: New Census Data Supports View that Welfare Reform Failed by Denying Access to Higher Education


by Vivyan C. Adair — April 11, 2007

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the enactment of “welfare reform.” Although reform reduced welfare enrollment by as much as 60%, today the overwhelming majority of welfare recipients work but remain poor and dependent upon services including food stamps, housing assistance, and Medicaid. Vivyan C. Adair a former welfare recipient who is now a Professor of Women’s Studies and the Founder of the ACCESS Project at Hamilton College, argues that welfare policy that has prohibited many welfare eligible single parents from earning college degrees is one of the reasons that many in the US remain working but mired in economic instability. Ultimately she insists that welfare programs must be expanded to allow for access to training and higher education, illustrating that to prohibit those poor single parents who are willing and able to work, care for their families and earn college degrees from doing so is short-sighted, mean-spirited, and ineffective public policy.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: April 11, 2007
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 14194, Date Accessed: 10/22/2017 6:13:54 AM

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About the Author
  • Vivyan Adair
    Hamilton College
    E-mail Author
    VIVYAN C. ADAIR, Ph.D is the Elihu Root Peace Fund Chair, Associate Professor of Women's Studies and the Founder of The ACCESS Project at Hamilton College. She is the Curator and Director of "The Missing Story of Ourselves: Poverty and the Promise of Higher Education." As well, she is the author of “Branded with Infamy: Inscriptions of Class and Poverty in America” published in Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society; “Poverty and the (Broken) Promise of Education” published in the Harvard Educational Review and the co-editor of Reclaiming Class: Women, Poverty and the Promise of Higher Education (Temple University Press, 2003).
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