Assembly Republican Leader Chad Mayes (Yucca Valley) has introduced legislation that he said would provide CalWORKs recipients with the help they need to get an education and improve their own situation.
“CalWORKs has the potential to be more than simply a poverty-maintenance program,” Mayes said. “We must ensure that recipients have the tools they need to change their lives for the better. Encouraging further education is just one way we can do that.”
Many CalWORKs recipients lack a high school diploma, leaving them unable to find good, working class jobs, Mayes said. Assembly Bill 227 will encourage CalWORKs recipients to further pursue their education and become qualified to fill the projected 4.4 million skilled job openings projected over the next decade.
AB 227 would provide CalWORKs recipients with an additional payment of up to $300 for earning a high school diploma or equivalent, an associate’s degree, or a bachelor’s degree.
The bill would also increase funding for California community colleges for work-study positions, education and career counseling.
“Nearly three of every four low-income parents in the CalWORKs program do not have a high school degree, not to mention a trade or college degree that could help them exit poverty. Western Center is proud to co-sponsor Leader Mayes’s bill which offers a creative solution to the problem,”
says Jessica Bartholow, a legislative advocate at the Western Center on Law and Poverty.