Another significant aspect of the Ryan plan focuses on reforming education through distributing block grants, refinancing higher education, expanding accreditation options so that more students could receive financial aid, and consolidating federal jobs programs. Again, this approach would shift the emphasis from Washington to state governments in determining the allocation of funds to anti-poverty programs and policies. Congressman Ryan has stated that he does not intend to cut the budget but redirect funds to create space for more flexibility at the state level.
Direct Service Implications
While taken as a whole, “Expanding Opportunity in America” would completely transform how much of the social safety net operates in the United States. Under the current make-up of Congress, Ryan’s plan is more likely a jumping off point for Republicans changing their tone and approach to addressing poverty ahead of the 2014 midterm and 2016 presidential elections than any likely imminent policy changes. The idea of combining federal assistance programs into block grants to give states more flexibility in how those dollars are spent is something to keep an eye on, however, as it could put serious strains on certain services with the potential decrease of available resources.
Courtesy of McSilver Institute of Poverty Policy and Research who has kindly given SJS permission to syndicate this piece.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the Policy News Briefs are not necessarily the views of the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research or NYU’s Silver School of Social Work. If you have comments or suggestions about this service, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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