We have a lot of problems that need solutions - many of which end up as political or idealistic arguments and no consensus as to any good solutions. None of the problems will be solved overnight but something needs a starting point. I have not completely thought out this particular issue and would very much like input from people with knowledge based experience. I'd like to not see a "dog fight," name-calling, and nothing but angry negative responses in this thread but won't hold my breath. It's intended to be a positive idea thread. Many of our problems overlap each other and fuel the continued ballooning costs of all of them - whether financial or behavioral. At the risk of being beaten to death by angry teachers, I would like to start with education. I realize that schools are already way overcrowded and that teachers sometimes have a workload from hell. Because the vast majority of welfare recipients are not very educated, why can't we start by mandating that those parents must to go to school as a condition of receiving welfare support? Why not have those parents in the classroom with their children every single day of the school year - a "learn as your child learns" sort of thing. In the case of multiple children there could be a "weekly rotation" sort of thing so the parent can have classroom time with each child. The parent could sort of supply "individual attention" that teachers simply cannot do. The parent would be responsible and accountable for their child's classroom behavior - maybe it would result in less classroom disruption, bullying, violence, etc. or reduce continued violence in the home and in the streets. It would mean that these parents and their children will at a very minimum get 12 years of education, a diploma, be more capable of finding a job that will reduce or move them off the welfare dole. Home Ec. should cover a broad spectrum of issues and be a required class for parents - a least one day a week - maybe they would learn some good healthy eating habits and also be wiser in how to get the most out of their food stamp dollars (learning to budget) - might help with the obesity problem. It was a "toss-out" idea - needs input especially from the "experts." I forgot to mention this in the original post but homework time could be "family time" - child/parent interaction and it could lead to other "family time" activities. I couldn't afford to buy the "cool stuff" for my kids but we did have board games and we played cards, etc. Homework should be a "turn-in-the-papers" proposition - I don't care if it's just printing the alphabet - it gets turned in.