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After decades of obscurity, marriage education has suddenly emerged into the national spotlight. In 2001, the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, announced its Healthy Marriage Initiative and since then has committed over $100 million in funds to support marriage education research and programs. It now proposes to spend a lot more. Pending legislation to reauthorize the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program would commit $200 million to $300 million a year for five years for a variety of marriage education services. Marriage education’s rapid rise to stardom has stimulated considerable controversy. Some are hailing marriage education as a silver bullet, a valuable new strategy in the fight to reduce child poverty and family breakdown. Others deplore investing in what they call these unproven, risky programs for which they claim there is little or no evidence they work. Still others–such as CLASP–are concerned that too much funding is proposed for healthy marriage programs at a time when many basic economic supports and services for poor families are facing funding cuts. To help understand this policy debate, this brief addresses two questions: What is marriage education? Do we know whether it “”works””? (Author abstract)