Thank goodness the Farm Bill failed in the U.S. House of Representatives last week. The House’s despicable bill to punish the poor fell victim to division and rancor among House Republicans—division mostly about another fraught issue: immigration.
The Farm Bill includes food stamps—SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program—and the bill that failed would have punished poor families by imposing strict and punitive work requirements for the adults who qualify for SNAP—including millions of parents with children. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities tells us: “In 2016, some 19 million children received SNAP each month, accounting for 44 percent of all SNAP participants.”
SNAP matters not only for individuals but also for public schools for two primary reasons. Twenty years after welfare reform utterly failed to end poverty, SNAP is among our society’s few remaining anti-poverty programs, and we know that school achievement and children’s life chances are closely…
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