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Tennessee Advances Legislation That Would Tie Welfare To Children’s Grades

Two Tennessee lawmakers introduced legislation that would tie welfare assistance under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program to the educational performance of students who benefit from it, and the legislation was approved by committees in both the state House and Senate last week.

Under the legislation brought by two Republicans, a student who doesn’t not make “satisfactory progress” in school would cost his or her family up to 30 percent of its welfare assistance, the Knoxville News and Sentinel reported:

The bill is sponsored by Sen. Stacey Campfield, R-Knoxville, and Rep. Vance Dennis, R-Savannah. It calls for a 30 percent reduction in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits to parents whose children are not making satisfactory progress in school.

As amended, it would not apply when a child has a handicap or learning disability or when the parent takes steps to try improving the youngster’s school performance — such as signing up for a “parenting class,” arranging a tutoring program or attending a parent-teacher conference.

When Campfield introduced the legislation in January, he said parents have “gotten away with doing absolutely nothing to help their children” in school. “That’s child abuse to me,” he added. Tennessee already ties welfare to education by mandating a 20 percent cut in benefits if students do not meet attendance standards, but this change would place the burden of maintaining benefits squarely on children, who would face costing their family much-needed assistance if they don’t keep up in school.

TANF, meanwhile, is failing students and their families. It serves fewer impoverished families and children than its predecessor did before the 1996 welfare reform law was instituted, and it especially failed during the Great Recession, when the rate of families served fell in 35 states despite increases in both poverty and unemployment. And Tennessee’s welfare program is hardly robust — the maximum benefit is $185 a month and hasn’t changed since 1996. Given that low-income students already struggle to keep up in school, further reducing the already-modest benefits they receive from TANF isn’t likely to improve educational outcomes. It could instead make them worse.

by Anonymousreply 4304/03/2013

Another Klan rally in TN.

by Anonymousreply 104/01/2013


by Anonymousreply 204/01/2013


by Anonymousreply 304/01/2013

Let's give everyone who supports the legislation an IQ test. Or even a basic GED test.

I bet that would be fucking hilarious.

by Anonymousreply 404/01/2013

So TN wants to punish the entire family if the children aren't doing well in school. FL punishes the unemployed by requiring mandatory drug testing; and North Dakota thinks a 6 week old clump of cells is a person.

The United States can not move forward when we continue to have states that have the mentality of the 20th Century.

by Anonymousreply 504/01/2013

This country has really gone to hell.

by Anonymousreply 604/01/2013

I think it is an excellent idea.

by Anonymousreply 704/01/2013

That's because you're a savage, R7.

by Anonymousreply 804/01/2013

Oh, for fuck sakes.

by Anonymousreply 904/01/2013

The Republican ego needs at least one group under its thumb. Republicans = (insecure) bullies

by Anonymousreply 1004/01/2013

Obviously, the 1 percenters should be the only ones allowed to birth children.

by Anonymousreply 1104/01/2013

r11, ever watched the first few minutes of Idiocracy?

by Anonymousreply 1204/01/2013

Any 'yes' vote on this legislation must be accompanied by the grade reports of all the children of the person voting 'yes'.

That, and giving the actual legislators an IQ and/or GED test as suggested above, should be endlessly entertaining and oh so informative to the nation as a whole.

by Anonymousreply 1304/01/2013

This is horrible.

by Anonymousreply 1404/01/2013

Way to go to put these poor kids under even more pressure and hardship.

by Anonymousreply 1504/01/2013

Anyone who's worked/working in a school with poor kids can tell you this is a good idea.

So many of these parents are drugged up, drunk, fucked up, have dozens of baby daddies, and their kids become criminals at 11.

by Anonymousreply 1604/01/2013

And drug addicted parents are sure to make their children study harder, and not say, beat the crap out of them for losing assistance, eh genius @ r16?

by Anonymousreply 1704/01/2013

R16= Fat fuck, Rush Limbaugh

by Anonymousreply 1804/01/2013

It's draconian pure and simple.

by Anonymousreply 1904/01/2013

Shut up 'oh, for fuck sakes' troll.

Really sick of your shit in every thread.

by Anonymousreply 2004/01/2013

That's an undue burden to place on someone who is not legally old enough to financially support him/herself. If argued this way, I can't see how this law would be legal. A child is not old / wise / capable enough to sign a binding contract or self-sustain. So how can you directly tie a child's ability to survive on school performance?

by Anonymousreply 2104/02/2013

R16, I do work with poor kids and I can safely say you're an idiot nonpareil. You think little kids who are likely raising themselves and other siblings, who are sleep deprived because they don't have a proper bedroom or because mom got evicted again and they're crashed in a minivan for the week, and who rely on free/reduced lunch or the weekend handouts from the one charity interested in partnering with school-aged kids are going to be able to find time and support outside of school to study and maintain the GOP-acceptable grade level?

God, I hope you're a troll. If you aren't, I hope you shoot yourself while you're polishing your gun collection.

by Anonymousreply 2204/02/2013

Children have a natural tendency to blame themselves whenever something goes wrong for the family. If there's a bitter divorce, a child will typically think "Daddy is gone because I was bad", or something irrational. It's how the child brain copes with random disaster, it's a way of feeling that the child has some control over events.

If the family benefits are cut because of this law, the children are going to feel responsible for all the bad things that happen to the entire family, even if the parents spend the rent money on drugs. This law will hurt the children much more than the parents it's aimed at.

by Anonymousreply 2304/02/2013

Forget bombing North Korea back to the stone age. We have a few states here we could lose easily.

by Anonymousreply 2404/02/2013

Maybe they can get Todd Akin and Michelle Bachman to teach science.

by Anonymousreply 2504/02/2013

Sarah Palin can teach geography and birth control, which would be a first in her family.

by Anonymousreply 2604/02/2013

Stacey Campfield is the same tool who sponsored the "Don't Say Gay" bill. God, I wish somebody would dig up some dirt on this smug fuckface.

by Anonymousreply 2704/02/2013

of course it's in the south....

by Anonymousreply 2804/02/2013

Not The Onion?

by Anonymousreply 2904/02/2013

They should also eliminate the mortgage and child deductions for any parents whose children receive averages below a C.

I am SICK TO DEATH of supporting those lazy deadbeats with my taxes, and if they're not going to do their jobs as parents then they shouldn't get those benefits.

by Anonymousreply 3004/02/2013

It's all about penalizing the poor (and poor children) because the economy sucks and the 1% are having a great time.

by Anonymousreply 3104/02/2013

"They should also eliminate the mortgage and child deductions for any parents whose children receive averages below a C."

Helicopter parents are already harassing teachers and principals whenever Junior gets poor grades, imagine if they had a financial incentive?

Seriously, can you imagine how terrible life would be for teachers, if this idiotic law were ever passed? Sure, they fantasize about penalizing the parents when a student doesn't do well, but imagine the reality. Not just entitled helicopter parents, but imagine knowing your grade would be responsible for driving the poor deeper into poverty, or for pissing off someone desperate and unstable.

by Anonymousreply 3204/02/2013

When I was on internship, a social worker with Chicago Public schools told me that the worst days for social workers in the system was the day after report card day in some areas. Kids would return to school with visible bruises and welts they received as punishment for receiving what the parents considered unsatisfactory grades. The social workers would have to spend most of their time that day reporting suspected cases of abuse to DCFS. The families' livelihood wasn't in any way tied to their children's academic performance.

I hope that some clever Democrat attaches a rider to the bill stipulating funding for the anticipated increase to the caseload.

by Anonymousreply 3304/02/2013

This, like drug testing, is all to punish the poor. They've wanted to revoke voting rights for those on welfare too.

by Anonymousreply 3404/02/2013

Worst idea ever.

by Anonymousreply 3504/02/2013

What's ironic is a large segment of the people who vote for the Republican party are on welfare!

by Anonymousreply 3604/02/2013

Given the gun enthusiasm in TN, I can only imagine that teachers will be threatened with gun violence from parents who lose their benefits because of the grades the teachers give.

I'd be very scared to be a teacher in Tennessee knowing that I had the power to take someone's access to food away.

by Anonymousreply 3704/02/2013

While we are at it, let's base our politician's salary on a sliding scale too.

by Anonymousreply 3804/02/2013

The Governor of Tennessee also refused anything pertaining to Medicaid expansion at all. Many rural hospitals in Tennessee might close because of that. A friend of mine told me that. And Stephen Colbert made fun of it on his show rather well.

by Anonymousreply 3904/02/2013

MOst of you people are being absurd.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking a LITTLE back for a lot of monetary help. This stuff is NOT an entitlement, like social security. We have a right to demand something back for this money.

And if you don't like it, you can move to Canada.

by Anonymousreply 4004/02/2013

I wouldn't tie payment to their grads, but I'd sure as hell tie it to attendance

by Anonymousreply 4104/02/2013

TN receives $1.27 from the Feds for ever dollar it pays in through taxes. So is TN trying to gyp (oh, pardon the un-politically correct term) the rest of us law-abiding tax-payers elsewhere in the country in this whole shenanigan? TN needs to tell us what it's going to do with the proceeds it pockets from scamming poor children.

Why can't y'all contribute even-Steven and stop relying on the other states to carry your load? And which states might those be? Hmm? Yes! The BLUE ones.

by Anonymousreply 4204/03/2013

R33 is on to something. Can one of our Tennessee DLers email that post to your Democratic state reps?

And BTW, thanks again, Tommy "Falseface" Thompson and Bill Clinton. This welfare "reform" has worked out quite well for us, hasn't it?

by Anonymousreply 4304/03/2013
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