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Assembly Approves Help for CalWORKs Recipients Pursuing an Education

SACRAMENTO – The Assembly voted to provide CalWORKs recipients financial support to seek further education and improve their situation.

“CalWORKs has the potential to be much more than a poverty-maintenance program,” said Assembly Republican Leader Chad Mayes (R-Yucca Valley). “The financial support we approved today will provide people with an incentive to seek further education and will help them change their lives for the better.”

Many CalWORKs recipients lack a high school diploma, leaving them unable to find good, working-class jobs. Assembly Bill 227 (Mayes) encourages CalWORKs recipients to further their education and become qualified to fill the 4.4 million skilled job openings projected over the next decade.

AB 227 provides CalWORKs recipients with an additional payment of $100 for earning a high school diploma or equivalent and a stipend of up to $2,400 a year for pursuing an associate’s degree, career technical education program certificate or bachelor’s degree. The bill also increases funding to California Community Colleges for work-study positions, education and career counseling.

“Workers with high school degrees earn thousands more a year than workers without one. Still, too many CalWORKs recipients reach their 48 month lifetime limit for aid without securing this important stepping stone for their path out of poverty,” said Jessica Bartholow, a representative from the Western Center on Law and Poverty. “AB 227 offers both support and encouragement to poor parents in securing their degrees through a fresh approach we are thrilled to support.”

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