OPT-Out Policy For Small States Critical Thinking

Type of paper: Critical Thinking

Topic: Family, Law, Education, Government, Children, Students, School, Teenagers

Pages: 2

Words: 550

Published: 2021/01/27

The equal protection clause addresses the issue of racial discrimination that is rampant in the Florida Justice System. The law stipulates that, “No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws” (Cornell University Law School, 2015).
The federal government put mandates that the state governments should meet to be eligible for TANF. However, states retain the ability to opt out of or modify some of the requirements that they are not happy with. One of the problematic actions by the federal government is the ban for persons with a history of felony drug convictions from TANF assistance and food stamps (Pollack, 2008). This federal ban contradicts the anti-discrimination spirit espoused by the 14th Amendment. Notably, the ban certainly blocks out many people in dire need for assistance, especially African American men. It is only sensible that small states opt-out of the ban through state laws. The federal welfare law that is unfair given that TANF and food stamps are very important for people who have left jail (Legal Action Centre 2015).
Some states have modified the ban while others have opted out of it altogether. For instance, 13 states and DC have eliminated the ban completely through state laws. These are Delaware, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Florida, Arkansas, and North Dakota are among the states that have modified the ban. The TANF ban applies only to those convicted of distribution, manufacture, or trafficking, but does not apply to possession.
The TANF program can be used to uplift the lives of the African Americans in Florida and elsewhere if the ban on those convicted for drug felony is lifted. Evidently, there is disproportionate incarceration of young males from the African American background.
TANF is an acronym for Temporary assistance for Needy Families. According to TANF Overview (2006), the federal government uses the program to provide funding to needy families with children, under the condition that the families meet set work and time limits. The funding is meant to increase the ability of states to meet some four goals, of which the fourth one is related to promoting two-parent families raising their children. This program is likely to deal with the problem of crime that is associated with young men from the poor black family background.
The program is meant to encourage people from a poor background to engage in work activities and as well educate their children. According to its design, the aid is supposed to supplement the income that the parents get from their work activities. The program has a requirement that the children in the family who are aged between 6 and18 should be in school (TANF Overview, 2006). This program seems like a deliberate effort to reverse the general lack of education for children from poor households. According to Lufti, et al. (2010), national statistics reveal that African American males have a lesser likelihood of graduating from high school, attending college, and achieving post-secondary qualification compared to their white compatriots. Moreover, the program helps to reverse the fates that befall young males who drop out of school in Florida, particularly juvenile delinquency and incarceration.
The program is instrumental in breaking the chain of poverty among the poor families that leads to endless dependency on government charity and low socioeconomic status.
Parents who benefit from the program can provide their children stable nurturing environment that is necessary for proper emotional development. For example, eligible families receive some grant to help in paying rent under the TANF program. Having a place to stay means the families can take better care of children and avoid the development of violence tendencies that are associated with homelessness and truancy. Essentially, the connectedness of adolescents to parents and schools protect the children from engaging in violent crimes that could land them in jail (Webster & Illangasekare, 2010).


Cornell University Law School. (2015). 14th Amendment. U.S. Constitution. Retrieved from https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/amendmentxiv
Legal Action Centre. (2015). Opting out of federal ban on food stamps and TANF. Retrieved from http://www.lac.org/toolkits/TANF/TANF.htm
Lutfi, G. Ellis R. and Tolliver, E. (2010). An educational exploration of the critical issues affecting black males in Florida. Black Papers, 1(1), 4-17.
Pollack, W. (2008). An introduction to the temporary assistance for needy families program. Retrieved from http://povertylaw.pbworks.com/w/page/ 17976070/An%20Introduction%20to%20the%20Temporary%20Assistance%20for% 20Needy%20Families%20Program
Starling, C. E. & Hope, W. (2013). Testimonies of African American male high school dropouts. Discourse Journal of Educational Research, 1(3), 43-53.
TANF Overview. (2006). Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Retrieved from http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/programs/access/docs/TANF%20101%20final.pdf
Webster, D. & Illangasekare, S. (2010). Best practices for the prevention of youth homicide and severe youth violences. Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute. Retrieved from http://urbanhealth.jhu.edu/media/best_practices/violence_prevention.pdf

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WePapers. (2021, January, 27) OPT-Out Policy For Small States Critical Thinking. Retrieved June 17, 2024, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/opt-out-policy-for-small-states-critical-thinking/
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"OPT-Out Policy For Small States Critical Thinking," Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com, 27-Jan-2021. [Online]. Available: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/opt-out-policy-for-small-states-critical-thinking/. [Accessed: 17-Jun-2024].
OPT-Out Policy For Small States Critical Thinking. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/opt-out-policy-for-small-states-critical-thinking/. Published Jan 27, 2021. Accessed June 17, 2024.

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