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Stacey Campfield, Tennessee GOP Lawmaker, Wants To Tie Welfare Benefits To Children's Grades

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Stacey Campfield, Tennessee GOP Lawmaker, Wants To Tie Welfare Benefits To Children's Grades



Tennessee state Rep. Stacey Campfield (R) introduced a bill this week seeking to make welfare benefits contingent upon the grades of a would-be recipient's children.
Campfield's legislation, filed Thursday, would "require the reduction of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) payments for parents or caretakers of TANF recipients whose children fail to maintain satisfactory progress in school." TANF is more commonly referred to as welfare.
Under Campfield's bill, welfare recipients would face a loss of benefits if their children showed poor academic performance. It's unclear how these factors would be tied to one another, or how the children's performance would be assessed.
In a blog addressing his proposal, Campfield calls his bill a measure to "break the cycle of poverty." According to Campfield, education is a "three legged stool" comprised of schools, teachers and parents. He claims the state has adequately held the first two legs of the school accountable, but argues that it should apply more pressure on the third.
"The third leg of the stool (probably the most important leg) is the parents," Campfield writes. "We have done little to hold them accountable for their child's performance. What my bill would do is put some responsibility on parents for their child's performance."
Campfield has been a pioneer of creative ways to target beneficiaries of entitlement programs in the past. He was a driving force behind failed efforts to require Tennesseeans seeking government benefits to first pass drug tests.
He was also the legislator behind Tennessee's controversial and ill-fated "don't say gay bill" in early 2012.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
by on Jan. 25, 2013 at 7:38 PM
Replies (31-40):
romalove
by SenseandSensibility on Jan. 27, 2013 at 11:16 AM
1 mom liked this


Quoting stringtheory:

I'm betting Campfield doesn't give a whoot about poor kids breaking any cycles by doing well in school; likely he's banking on these numbers to save some money on PA.

Quoting romalove:

http://www.fairtaxation.org/facts/sinking.php


PUBLIC INVESTMENT:

  • 43rd in financial commitment to public health (per person)
  • 44th in financial commitment to elementary and secondary school (per student)
  • 48th in financial commitment to higher education by state and local government (per person)

OVERALL RETURN ON INVESTMENT:

  • 45th safest state
  • 47th healthiest state
  • 47th most livable state

INVESTMENT RETURNS (IN PAINFUL DETAIL):

  • 41st in children living above the national poverty line
  • 41st in percent of 4th graders who read at a 4th grade level
  • 46th in percent of 4th graders who can do 4th grade math
  • 41st in percent of population who graduated from college
  • 42ndin high school graduation rates
  • 42nd in citizens living above the national poverty line
  • 44th in higher education enrollment
  • 46th in seniors living above the national poverty line

WHAT TENNESSEE DOES WELL:

  • 6th in children living in extreme poverty
  • 10th in young adults not attending school. not working, and with no degree beyond high school
  • 3rd in meth lab incidents
  • 5th in percent of adults overweight or obese
  • 8th in grandchildren in the care of grandparents


Tennessee is in a world of hurt.

Absolutely.  I posted the numbers to show how badly Tennessee is doing, and this is what they come up with?  They need a lot of help.


sweet-a-kins
by Ruby Member on Jan. 27, 2013 at 11:21 AM


Quoting romalove:


Absolutely.  I posted the numbers to show how badly Tennessee is doing, and this is what they come up with?  They need a lot of help.


According to their party, poor kids in grade school should be working as slave wage janitors to "earn their keep"...

they are unfit human beings

SallyMJ
by Ruby Member on Jan. 27, 2013 at 11:46 AM
1 mom liked this

Of course it's not a race issue. It's a parental involvement issue.

Many kids have both parents working. Parents check homework at night and communicate with their child's teachers.

My friend's story of the library is an EXAMPLE of differences he saw one one day at one library in the inner city. It impressed (and depressed) him so much that he often speaks of it. It made him especially sad because the kids missing out there could have been him - only his parents were very much engaged with his education.

Quoting Raintree:

Sally, I understand what you're saying- as a wife to an asian American, I have first hand knowledge of the amount of pressure put on Asian children to perform well in school (and I'm not saying that pressure is always a bad thing). WIth regard to the idea that the "Asian mothers are in the library helping their kids with homework'" thing that you posited, I'd like to ask one small little question:

Many people who partake of welfare benefits ARE working. When will they have time to do this?

Perhaps if we didn't have such a huge class of working poor- if our companies and their record profits would supply some kind of livable wage? This problem would decline.

This isn't just a race issue.

Quoting SallyMJ:

Please -  Enlighten me about my so-called "stereotypes".

My own teaching experience = fact

My friend's experience = fact

Asian highest ranking in education in the US = fact

What other "stereotypes" are you referring to in my comment? Thanks.

Quoting mommygiggles317:


Quoting SallyMJ:

Makes sense to me.

When I taught in inner city schools, the biggest problem for my students was indifference of many parents to their children's education. Kids whose parents were involved tended to achieve better in school. That isn't the case for most kids there, and that indifference can lead to a downward spiral of poverty.

A friend of mine made an interesting observation (he is black). He went to an inner city public library, and saw lots of black kids sitting around and playing outside. Inside, Asian moms in that same inner city library were working with their kids on their homework. A huge disparity.

Any wonder that Americans of Asian descent have by far the highest test scores, college attendance and career success of any ethnic group in the country? 

Parental involvement in their children's education absolutely is a key factor to their success in life.

Damn... your response is laced with so many stereotypes I don't know where to begin...

Why do you feel that the parents are indifferent to their children's education? Did you ever think about the fact that a lot of these parents have to work?... Some are working more than one job? How about the fact that maybe both mom and dad may be working hard because the bills have to be paid?... the cost of living is going up and wages are not. 

What you may see as "indifference" may be parents doing everything in their power to keep a roof over their families heads, food in their children's bellies etc... They may not have the time to be as involved as parents who are financially more stable - and if you worked in an inner city/low-income school and you did not have a biased attitude - you could vouch for that because you know... right?... 






littleangie
by Member on Jan. 27, 2013 at 12:08 PM

 


Quoting Sisteract:

Why?

Quoting littleangie:

I would support this into law.  


I did my student teaching in an urban school.  I had taught 9th graders.   I had several students that I thought were very smart and had the potential to make something of themselves.  For some reason, they were doing poorly on the test and were not doing their homework assignments.  They were good kids and I talked to them to see if there was something that I could to help them.   Their response to me was that there was nothing I can do.  Family members would tell them to purposely  play dumb and do poorly in school so that they can get money from the government.  I speak through experience, not because I think this bill is just a grand idea. 

rccmom
by Gold Member on Jan. 27, 2013 at 12:14 PM
1 mom liked this

I don't know. I can see the temptation in this bill. We all know that parental involvement usually translates to a child doing better at school, and some parents don't care about their kids education. Of course, some parents are so busy working 2 jobs to just barely get by, they do not have as much time to help their kids. Then there are the kids who have learning differences, I will not call them disabilities cause I really hate that term. I have spent a lot of time in schools as a volunteer tutor. Kids do not get the official tutoring help they need till they are so far behind it becomes much more difficult for them to catch up. If you want to tie grades to aid, then you need to fund your school properly and make sure the structure is in place to give each and every child the education they need, not canned education that caters to the majority, but ignores the outliers until too late. My sister is in a "good" school and TN, and from her experience, I can tell you taht TN is behind in teaching its children.    

jaxTheMomm
by Gold Member on Jan. 27, 2013 at 12:21 PM

My thought as well.

These families are already under duress, and his solution to motivate the parents to become more involved (if they aren't already) is to put their ability to feed their children under the gun?

Is there no better solution to try and help these families?

Quoting stringtheory:

I'm betting Campfield doesn't give a whoot about poor kids breaking any cycles by doing well in school; likely he's banking on these numbers to save some money on PA.

Quoting romalove:

http://www.fairtaxation.org/facts/sinking.php


PUBLIC INVESTMENT:

  • 43rd in financial commitment to public health (per person)
  • 44th in financial commitment to elementary and secondary school (per student)
  • 48th in financial commitment to higher education by state and local government (per person)

OVERALL RETURN ON INVESTMENT:

  • 45th safest state
  • 47th healthiest state
  • 47th most livable state

INVESTMENT RETURNS (IN PAINFUL DETAIL):

  • 41st in children living above the national poverty line
  • 41st in percent of 4th graders who read at a 4th grade level
  • 46th in percent of 4th graders who can do 4th grade math
  • 41st in percent of population who graduated from college
  • 42ndin high school graduation rates
  • 42nd in citizens living above the national poverty line
  • 44th in higher education enrollment
  • 46th in seniors living above the national poverty line

WHAT TENNESSEE DOES WELL:

  • 6th in children living in extreme poverty
  • 10th in young adults not attending school. not working, and with no degree beyond high school
  • 3rd in meth lab incidents
  • 5th in percent of adults overweight or obese
  • 8th in grandchildren in the care of grandparents


Tennessee is in a world of hurt.



stringtheory
by Bronze Member on Jan. 27, 2013 at 12:56 PM
How does doing poorly in school get them money from the government?

Quoting littleangie:

 




Quoting Sisteract:


Why?


Quoting littleangie:


I would support this into law.  




I did my student teaching in an urban school.  I had taught 9th graders.   I had several students that I thought were very smart and had the potential to make something of themselves.  For some reason, they were doing poorly on the test and were not doing their homework assignments.  They were good kids and I talked to them to see if there was something that I could to help them.   Their response to me was that there was nothing I can do.  Family members would tell them to purposely  play dumb and do poorly in school so that they can get money from the government.  I speak through experience, not because I think this bill is just a grand idea. 

Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
Imacakebaker
by on Jan. 27, 2013 at 6:57 PM

And the problem would be?  It forces parental involvement.  It doesn't take that much to make sure your child does his homework, to sign a planer, to talk to a teacher. 

I would fully support this!!

Friday
by Platinum Member on Jan. 27, 2013 at 7:45 PM


Quoting 29again:


Quoting mommygiggles317:


Quoting 29again:

How many more cliches and stereotypes can you all come up with? 


Kids in school, whose parents are on TANF, already get more than their "fair share" of resources from the community, and the state.  I see no problem with this bill.  It does not require straight A's, it requires that there be some progress.  Just like the school itself has to prove progress in order to continue to receive state and federal funding.  It's only fair, right?

You know what... you are absolutely right... Yeah let's make it even harder on low income families by making their eligibility to receiving benefits being tied to their child's progress in school... Sounds damn fair to me... Oh... wait... not all of our schools are equally funded; all of our schools do not have effective teachers in the classrooms; and it's usually the schools that these kids go to that have these problems and more - outdated resources, no extra curricular activities, and so on. 

#1.  This is only in Tennessee, not nationwide.  Don't worry, it won't affect you in NY.  Besides, Cuomo won't ever go for something like this, would he? Why not look at what is going on in TN, first.  I would think that those living there know their situation better than you do.

#2.  The schools and the teachers have been / are being held accountable for their role in education.  Why are parents exempt from being responsible for their children, just because they receive PA?  Again, this is in TN, not all over.  Yes, some schools are underfunded, have outdated supplies, etc.  Does this apply in TN? 

#3.  You do realize that if a student's family receives PA, that student automatically receives free lunches, and does not have to pay school fees.  (at least in my state.)  So, in addition to TANF, FS, medical, rent assistance, daycare assistance, car repair assistance, utility assistance, these families also receive free lunches for the school kids (so they don't have to waste those precious FS on school lunches for the kids, of course) and free schooling.  IF this mom was working 2 or 3 jobs to make ends meet, she would not qualify for assistance.  So, to receive this much assistance, she is working the minimum to keep all that assistance, which means she has time to make sure that little Johnny is doing his homework and studying for his tests.  That what moms DO anyway.  That is part of being a parent.  I think it smacks of hypocrisy to moan about the "rich" not paying their fair share, yet give the "poor" a free ride on everything, holding them accountable for nothing.  No wonder there are so many on PA these days, it's a free ride!  No worries, no stress, just sign this, apply for that, and you can take and take and take......... what a life, and what an example to set for the children.



Your assumptions are a bit much. Every person who receives cash aid doesn't necessarily receive every other benefit as well and depending on the number of kids and local cost of living, a single mom might work multiple jobs and still qualify for cash aid. There are really way too many possible variables to make assumptions or generalizations.

I'm not sure how I feel about tieing grades to assistance. It would have to include provisions for kids with learning disibilities and I'm not crazy about the possibility of one problem kid screwing it for an entire family. In Cali we have to show proof that our kids are attending school but I don't know how much attention they pay to grades, my kids have always done alright so it hasn't come up.

 


Thank God......it's Friday!!!

Friday
by Platinum Member on Jan. 27, 2013 at 7:51 PM


Quoting stringtheory:

I'm betting Campfield doesn't give a whoot about poor kids breaking any cycles by doing well in school; likely he's banking on these numbers to save some money on PA.

Quoting romalove:

http://www.fairtaxation.org/facts/sinking.php


PUBLIC INVESTMENT:

  • 43rd in financial commitment to public health (per person)
  • 44th in financial commitment to elementary and secondary school (per student)
  • 48th in financial commitment to higher education by state and local government (per person)

OVERALL RETURN ON INVESTMENT:

  • 45th safest state
  • 47th healthiest state
  • 47th most livable state

INVESTMENT RETURNS (IN PAINFUL DETAIL):

  • 41st in children living above the national poverty line
  • 41st in percent of 4th graders who read at a 4th grade level
  • 46th in percent of 4th graders who can do 4th grade math
  • 41st in percent of population who graduated from college
  • 42ndin high school graduation rates
  • 42nd in citizens living above the national poverty line
  • 44th in higher education enrollment
  • 46th in seniors living above the national poverty line

WHAT TENNESSEE DOES WELL:

  • 6th in children living in extreme poverty
  • 10th in young adults not attending school. not working, and with no degree beyond high school
  • 3rd in meth lab incidents
  • 5th in percent of adults overweight or obese
  • 8th in grandchildren in the care of grandparents


Tennessee is in a world of hurt.

If that's the case, that plain sucks. I don't know about this bill but that's a cold-hearted way to look at it, just to save money.

 


Thank God......it's Friday!!!

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