Shut Out

Low Income Mothers and Higher Education in Post-Welfare America

eISBN-13: 9780791484975

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Shut Out portrays in vivid detail the economic, educational, and existential struggles that single mothers confront as they fight back against a welfare-to-work regime that denies them access to higher education and obstructs their aspirations as autonomous women, determined to exit poverty and attain family self-sufficiency. The book is a unique blend of policy analysis and lived realities. The voices of student mothers fighting to stay in school, and organizing for a different future, are embedded in an analysis grounded in the educational experiences of women in poverty across the states. Harsh and punitive public policies that are designed to keep poor women trapped in low wage work are juxtaposed against the actions of those who, together with their allies, have resisted—inspired by a vision of a different world made possible by higher education.

Contributing authors discuss the provisions of the 1996 "welfare reform" (PRWORA) Act and the myriad of statewide responses to educational options within the framework of national legislation. In documenting the multiple obstacles and policy restrictions that low income women face, the book also highlights successful state programs, institutional practices, and community-based programs that afford low income women educational opportunities. The afterword summarizes recent legislative developments and makes policy and advocacy recommendations for the future.

ISBNs 9780791461266, 0791484971, 9780791484975
Language English