WRI’s Policy Education program provides students with firsthand experience of welfare the skills and knowledge of organizing and the mechanics of government to become civically involved in determining the policy that impacts their lives. Through WRI’s economic justice lens, students work directly with legislators to help craft better education and welfare polices so that they and others like them can graduate from school and secure jobs with livable wages, health benefits and childcare. Students use their firsthand experience to help determine policy priorities that seek open access to education for all.
WRI spearheaded state law that counts work-study and internships toward work participation rates for students receiving welfare. The work-study/internship law is the only tool that allows people to stay in 4 year college. Since 2000 when the law first passed, WRI students worked with legislators, community groups and other education stakeholders through writing letters, making calls and in-person visits to secure the law’s renewal every 2 years. June 2010 cumulative policy advocacy and dialogue help make the law permanent in a bi-partisan legislative victory.
WRI also advocates for opportunities for everyone to acquire knowledge and develop a variety of skills through access to literacy, Adult Basic Education, English as a Second Language, vocational training, a high school diploma or GED equivalent, as well as two and four year college degrees.