Proposed Welfare Rules Called Too Rigid in Comments

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints
  • CommentsComments

Washington--Several education groups and state agencies have weighed in on the proposed rules governing the welfare-reform law, with many targeting for comment the law's requirements for participation and for child-care provision.

The Department of Health and Human Services published the regulations in April, with the deadline for comments in mid-June. Final regulations are to be published in mid-October.

Passed last year by the Congress, the law mandates that states establish a Job Opportunities and Basic Skills program providing education and training to welfare recipients.

States are required to have a jobs program in place no later than October 1990, but many are initiating such programs this summer. Programs are to be statewide by 1992.

In their comments, several organizations, including the National Governors' Association and the state education departments of Alaska, Illinois, and Maryland, objected to h.h.s.'s stipulation that a jobs participant be involved in 20 hours of educational activities a week in order to be counted.

Those who commented called the standard too rigid and said it did not allow programs to be tailored to the individual needs of recipients.

Because the law targets those who have multiple special needs, such as teenage parents, many of the comments urged greater flexibility as an essential for designing effective programs.

Participation Rules Rigid

"Imposing a mandatory 20-hour-per-week program on teen parents would limit school-district discretion in structuring educational programs, resulting in students dropping out who would stay in school with a less restrictive program," the response from the National Center for Research in Vocational Education said. The center based its comments on research being conducted there on vocational programs for teen parents.

The Council of Chief Stateel15lSchool Officers said that the law's designation of teen parents as a top priority means that a crucial concern must be how soon after a child's birth a parent under the age of 18 has to return to school or to participation in alternative educational activities.

"We are concerned that, read literally, the regulations may allow that the day after a child is born, a parent is subject to sanctions if she does not return to school," the c.c.s.s.o. letter said.

The chiefs' group suggested that a state agency not be allowed to require school attendance or other educational activities in the three-month period following the birth of a child.

Several provisions on child care drew comments from educators. Among the concerns raised were that the proposed rules would reduce the rate of federal reimburse4ment for states, limit child care for voluntary participants, limit transitional care, and encourage informal child-care arrangements.

The law requires that states provide child care for jobs participants.

Several higher-education institutions and organizations objected to language included in the department's discussion of the regulations that discourages states from using jobs funds for postsecondary academic purposes.

While the proposed rules allow states the option of including postsecondary education as a component of its jobs program, the discussion of the regulations said such expenditures would receive extraordinary scrutiny by h.h.s.

Among the hundreds of letters received by the department, nearly 100 were from high-school students from several schools around the country who had been asked to write letters on the new welfare law as a class assignment.

Vol. 08, Issue 40

Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories





Sponsor Insights

Free Ebook: How to Implement a Coding Program in Schools

Successful Intervention Builds Student Success

Effective Ways to Support Students with Dyslexia

Stop cobbling together your EdTech

Integrate Science and ELA with Informational Text

Can self-efficacy impact growth for ELLs?

Disruptive Tech Integration for Meaningful Learning

Building Community for Social Good

5 Resources on the Power of Interoperability from Unified Edtech

New campaign for UN World Teachers Day

5 Game-Changers in Today’s Digital Learning Platforms

Hiding in Plain Sight - 7 Common Signs of Dyslexia in the Classroom

The research: Reading Benchmark Assessments

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

All Students Are Language Learners: The Imagine Learning Language Advantage™

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

How to Support All Students with Equitable Pathways

2019 K-12 Digital Content Report

3-D Learning & Assessment for K–5 Science

Climate Change, LGBTQ Issues, Politics & Race: Instructional Materials for Teaching Complex Topics

Closing the Science Achievement Gap

Evidence-based Coaching: Key Driver(s) of Scalable Improvement District-Wide

Advancing Literacy with Large Print

Research Sheds New Light on the Reading Brain

Tips for Supporting English Learners Through Personalized Approaches

Response to Intervention Centered on Student Learning

The Nonnegotiable Attributes of Effective Feedback

SEE MORE Insights >