Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

Tennessee bill: Welfare benefits depend on child’s school performance

Posted by   + Show Post

Tennessee bill: Welfare benefits depend on child’s school performance

A new piece of legislation, if passed, will penalize low-income families in Tennessee by reducing their welfare benefits if their child performs poorly in school.

Sponsored by Sen. Stacey Campfield (R-Knoxville)and Rep. Vance Dennis (R-Savannah), the bill“requires 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.”

Should a low-income family’s child not meet satisfactory levels in the subject areas of mathematics and reading or language arts, the family’s welfare benefits will be reduced by 20 percent.

The legislation (Senate Bill 132, House Bill 261) applies to low-income families, with no mention of penalties to middle or high-income families whose children perform poorly in school.

Rep. Dennis told the House Health Subcommittee the measure applies to “parents who do nothing,” reports Knoxnews.com.  Dennis described the bill as “a carrot and stick approach.”

Bill branded ‘discriminatory’

Tennessee state representative Gloria Johnson (D-Knoxville) calls the bill “discriminatory.”

“It’s just one more way to punish families who have fallen on hard times,” Johnson told theGrio. “I don’t believe for a second this will be anything to improve a child’s education.”

As a high school special education teacher, Johnson said this kind of bill is not what at-risk students need.

“To add the responsibility of the family budget on these kids, it’s not going to help these kids.  It’s not going to move them forward,” Johnson said.

“[The bill] sets up a terrible relationship between families and educators,” Johnson continued.  ”It sets up animosity between school and home.”

Johnson recommends after school or weekend programs, such as “community schools” where parents spend time with their children and can see what they are doing and how they are doing in school.

Representative Mike Turner (D-Old Hickory) told theGrio this is just one example of Tennessee legislature that is “trying to set back the working class people.”

Amendments may or may not make a difference

Amendments have been made to the original legislation to exclude students with learning disabilities and those who have an individualized education program (IEP) from being penalized for not maintaining satisfactory academic progress. Instead, special education students will be measured on school attendance.

“There are no amendments that will make this bill okay,” Johnson said. “There just aren’t.”

Further amendments also provide four ways the reduction can be restored once it is applied to a family’s payments.  Attending two parent teacher conferences, eight hours of parenting classes, enrolling the child in a tutoring program, or enrolling the child in summer school are the available options.

“There’s all kinds of loopholes,” Rep. Turner said, noting that homeschooling is addressed in the Senate version but is not addressed in the House bill.  ”No Democrats will vote for the bill.”

The House Health Committee, of which Johnson, Dennis, and Turner are members, is set to vote on the bill April 3.

If passed, SB 132 will take effect on July 1, 2013, just in time for the 2013-2014 school year.

theGrio.com reached out to Sen. Campfield and Rep. Dennis for comment, but our calls have not yet been returned

by on Apr. 1, 2013 at 7:06 PM
Replies (41-50):
LIMom1105
by Bronze Member on Apr. 1, 2013 at 10:05 PM

Yeah, this is the rich part of it. Tennessee does not have a good reputation for education, so blame the poor kids for the state's bad schools?!?

Quoting mikiemom:

SMDH - we should be supporting these kids not taking the rug out from underneath them sheesh. I guess the GOP has absolutely no compassion. OH and doing well in school in tennessee is far from a guarantee of success.


Suzy_Sunshine
by Silver Member on Apr. 1, 2013 at 10:12 PM
1 mom liked this

I understand that we're not going to see eye to eye on this but I want you to understand that I suggest residential school because those problems (missing minimum skills requirements and requiring assistance in order to survive) that lead me to conclude that the home is not working and that the child needs to be helped out of it. 

I know that it can be construed as cruel but it is because the child's welfare is my sole concern.

Quoting LauraKW:

You are certainly entitled to your opinion. I do not agree with removing a child from their home because they are doing poorly in school. Doing so to the children from families on PA is... Wow.

Lorik1969
by Bronze Member on Apr. 1, 2013 at 10:23 PM
1 mom liked this
For starters, I don't work. My son has trouble in geometry. I barely passed it 25 years ago in high school so all the "brushing up" in the world isn't going to help me understand what he is doing (25 years ago his geometry would have been taught in college). My youngest has a processing disorder. To help him properly I would need a teaching degree. I'm not spending hundred's of dollars a month because I'm lazy.
We live in an area with highly rated schools. Our graduation rate is 98% and we rank above average in standardized testing. Having said that, when my youngest was 2 we took him to the school to be tested because he wasn't developing properly. After a year of therapy he hadn't improved so we had him tested privately. The school refuse to recognize our diagnosis because they didn't want to treat him (which they were required by law to do). Proper therapy required one-on-one teaching using a special program. They told me flat out that they couldn't afford it. We could have sued to force them but then my son would have lost valuable learning time. We put him in private therapy, again several hundred dollars a month. Had he not received that therapy I know he would not be doing as well as he is today.
My point is that if a good, middle class school can't, or won't, provide appropriate help, what kind of services do you think you get for free? If the kids can't pass minimum standards, is it only a few or is it the majority of the school?
I agree that something needs to be done to help disadvantaged kids get a better education. Removing them from their homes isn't the answer.


Quoting Suzy_Sunshine:

You raise some worthwhile points. However we are not talking about high acheivement we are talking about children who fail to meet the bare minimum standards. If you did not work then you would have the time to brush up on the subjects troubling your children. Parents can help by ensuring that their children take advantage of the myriad free services available to poor children and by simply ensuring that their children do their work. 

I think we need to stop blaming the schools when families are failing.

Quoting Lorik1969:

It's not always about irresponsible parents. Both of my sons go to a tutor, to the tune of almost $400 a month. Without tutoring, my 10th grader would probably be failing math. High school math today is like college math 20 years ago. I sucked at it back then and it's even worse now, so I'm no help to him. The younger one (7th grade) needs help with reading comprehension, something I wouldn't even know if we hadn't had him tested privately as a small child because the school failed to properly diagnose him. I do all of this to insure they get the best possible education but it takes lots of $$! We aren't loaded by any means. One of my cars is 12 years old and we go without a lot of extra's to do it, but you can't get blood from a rock.

Instead of taking children from their parents, how about improving the schools? Should a child be taken away because he has a learning disorder thst was never diagnosed or isn't being properly treated? Because the parents can't help with homework anymore and can't afford a tutor? How is forcing kids into an institution good for society? The whole thing sounds pretty cold to me.





Quoting Suzy_Sunshine:

I think it should be paired with free residential schooling for children who do not perform adequately at school. 

If their parents are not responsible, then their is absolutely no justification for the government to require me to pay their parents to care for them.

If we have to hire caregivers for these children then let's employ professionals who will do the job!


Quoting OHgirlinCA:

This is such a terrible idea. 



On a side note, I find it really sad that people are suggesting ways like this to force parents to be responsible about their children's education.  I really don't think it would help much.  Irresponsible parents will still be that way.  It's too much work for some to step up to the plate.






Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
jehosoba84
by Jenn on Apr. 1, 2013 at 10:26 PM

 

Quoting coolmommy2x:

I agree. I don't want to place that responsibity on a kid but if this is the only a parent will get involved, maybe it's not a terrible idea. I'mnot sure this legislation is ideal as is but maybe it's a start.

Quoting pamelax3:

IMO this is could go either way! I agree thr child does not need to be stressed, but it will give the parent a reason to be involved with their childs school! And maybe a start to breaking the pa cycle

 I have to agree. I've seen the charts here, and you really have to have almost no income at all to qualify for tanf. Which says to me that parent(s) are not working, and so should have plenty of time to work with their child.

Suzy_Sunshine
by Silver Member on Apr. 1, 2013 at 10:27 PM

I think you're doing a very good job for your children.

I also think that removing innocent children from failing homes will help them. 

Quoting Lorik1969:

For starters, I don't work. My son has trouble in geometry. I barely passed it 25 years ago in high school so all the "brushing up" in the world isn't going to help me understand what he is doing (25 years ago his geometry would have been taught in college). My youngest has a processing disorder. To help him properly I would need a teaching degree. I'm not spending hundred's of dollars a month because I'm lazy.
We live in an area with highly rated schools. Our graduation rate is 98% and we rank above average in standardized testing. Having said that, when my youngest was 2 we took him to the school to be tested because he wasn't developing properly. After a year of therapy he hadn't improved so we had him tested privately. The school refuse to recognize our diagnosis because they didn't want to treat him (which they were required by law to do). Proper therapy required one-on-one teaching using a special program. They told me flat out that they couldn't afford it. We could have sued to force them but then my son would have lost valuable learning time. We put him in private therapy, again several hundred dollars a month. Had he not received that therapy I know he would not be doing as well as he is today.
My point is that if a good, middle class school can't, or won't, provide appropriate help, what kind of services do you think you get for free? If the kids can't pass minimum standards, is it only a few or is it the majority of the school?
I agree that something needs to be done to help disadvantaged kids get a better education. Removing them from their homes isn't the answer.


Quoting Suzy_Sunshine:

You raise some worthwhile points. However we are not talking about high acheivement we are talking about children who fail to meet the bare minimum standards. If you did not work then you would have the time to brush up on the subjects troubling your children. Parents can help by ensuring that their children take advantage of the myriad free services available to poor children and by simply ensuring that their children do their work. 

I think we need to stop blaming the schools when families are failing.

Quoting Lorik1969:

It's not always about irresponsible parents. Both of my sons go to a tutor, to the tune of almost $400 a month. Without tutoring, my 10th grader would probably be failing math. High school math today is like college math 20 years ago. I sucked at it back then and it's even worse now, so I'm no help to him. The younger one (7th grade) needs help with reading comprehension, something I wouldn't even know if we hadn't had him tested privately as a small child because the school failed to properly diagnose him. I do all of this to insure they get the best possible education but it takes lots of $$! We aren't loaded by any means. One of my cars is 12 years old and we go without a lot of extra's to do it, but you can't get blood from a rock.

Instead of taking children from their parents, how about improving the schools? Should a child be taken away because he has a learning disorder thst was never diagnosed or isn't being properly treated? Because the parents can't help with homework anymore and can't afford a tutor? How is forcing kids into an institution good for society? The whole thing sounds pretty cold to me.





Quoting Suzy_Sunshine:

I think it should be paired with free residential schooling for children who do not perform adequately at school. 

If their parents are not responsible, then their is absolutely no justification for the government to require me to pay their parents to care for them.

If we have to hire caregivers for these children then let's employ professionals who will do the job!


Quoting OHgirlinCA:

This is such a terrible idea. 



On a side note, I find it really sad that people are suggesting ways like this to force parents to be responsible about their children's education.  I really don't think it would help much.  Irresponsible parents will still be that way.  It's too much work for some to step up to the plate.







mehamil1
by Platinum Member on Apr. 1, 2013 at 10:29 PM

What role do teachers play in this? I have come across some ridiculous teachers. 

Also, so much for small government. 

JCB911
by Bronze Member on Apr. 1, 2013 at 10:36 PM

I could see this pushing the kids who just doesn't care into caring b/c his/her performance will not affect his/her family.  A little reponsibility isn't a bad thing.

It'll help the parents get involved.  Hopefully it'll push the student out of the cycle.



Quoting pamelax3:

IMO this is could go either way! I agree thr child does not need to be stressed, but it will give the parent a reason to be involved with their childs school! And maybe a start to breaking the pa cycle


CafeMom Tickers

mehamil1
by Platinum Member on Apr. 1, 2013 at 10:43 PM

If a child is not being abused or neglected, they should not be removed from their home. Doing poorly at school should not be grounds to have a child taken away. If that was the case my kid would have been taken a long time ago. I'm thinking about homeschooling him since the school seems to be doing more harm than good. I also don't think poverty is a justification for taking away children (not saying you said that, I'm just saying it). 

Quoting Suzy_Sunshine:

I think you're doing a very good job for your children.

I also think that removing innocent children from failing homes will help them. 

Quoting Lorik1969:
For starters, I don't work. My son has trouble in geometry. I barely passed it 25 years ago in high school so all the "brushing up" in the world isn't going to help me understand what he is doing (25 years ago his geometry would have been taught in college). My youngest has a processing disorder. To help him properly I would need a teaching degree. I'm not spending hundred's of dollars a month because I'm lazy.
We live in an area with highly rated schools. Our graduation rate is 98% and we rank above average in standardized testing. Having said that, when my youngest was 2 we took him to the school to be tested because he wasn't developing properly. After a year of therapy he hadn't improved so we had him tested privately. The school refuse to recognize our diagnosis because they didn't want to treat him (which they were required by law to do). Proper therapy required one-on-one teaching using a special program. They told me flat out that they couldn't afford it. We could have sued to force them but then my son would have lost valuable learning time. We put him in private therapy, again several hundred dollars a month. Had he not received that therapy I know he would not be doing as well as he is today.
My point is that if a good, middle class school can't, or won't, provide appropriate help, what kind of services do you think you get for free? If the kids can't pass minimum standards, is it only a few or is it the majority of the school?
I agree that something needs to be done to help disadvantaged kids get a better education. Removing them from their homes isn't the answer.
Quoting Suzy_Sunshine:

You raise some worthwhile points. However we are not talking about high acheivement we are talking about children who fail to meet the bare minimum standards. If you did not work then you would have the time to brush up on the subjects troubling your children. Parents can help by ensuring that their children take advantage of the myriad free services available to poor children and by simply ensuring that their children do their work. 

I think we need to stop blaming the schools when families are failing.

Quoting Lorik1969:
It's not always about irresponsible parents. Both of my sons go to a tutor, to the tune of almost $400 a month. Without tutoring, my 10th grader would probably be failing math. High school math today is like college math 20 years ago. I sucked at it back then and it's even worse now, so I'm no help to him. The younger one (7th grade) needs help with reading comprehension, something I wouldn't even know if we hadn't had him tested privately as a small child because the school failed to properly diagnose him. I do all of this to insure they get the best possible education but it takes lots of $$! We aren't loaded by any means. One of my cars is 12 years old and we go without a lot of extra's to do it, but you can't get blood from a rock.

Instead of taking children from their parents, how about improving the schools? Should a child be taken away because he has a learning disorder thst was never diagnosed or isn't being properly treated? Because the parents can't help with homework anymore and can't afford a tutor? How is forcing kids into an institution good for society? The whole thing sounds pretty cold to me.
Quoting Suzy_Sunshine:

I think it should be paired with free residential schooling for children who do not perform adequately at school. 

If their parents are not responsible, then their is absolutely no justification for the government to require me to pay their parents to care for them.

If we have to hire caregivers for these children then let's employ professionals who will do the job!

Quoting OHgirlinCA:

This is such a terrible idea.

On a side note, I find it really sad that people are suggesting ways like this to force parents to be responsible about their children's education.  I really don't think it would help much.  Irresponsible parents will still be that way.  It's too much work for some to step up to the plate.

jllcali
by Jane on Apr. 1, 2013 at 10:54 PM
1 mom liked this
Since they have no problem suggesting penalizing poor familieswho do poorly in school, will they also penalize those not on assistance? It's only fair, those not on assistance should pay a fine comparable to what those on assistance would lose. It would give parents incentive to be more involved in their child's education, AND bring in more money to the state. IT'S A WIN-WIN SITUATION!!
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
Lorik1969
by Bronze Member on Apr. 1, 2013 at 11:03 PM
1 mom liked this
Well thank you. I do my best, hopefully it will be enough :)
My daughter is a social worker and we've had this conversation a few times. She says that you have to understand that it's taken generations of being on PA for this attitude to take root. Reversing it at the adult level would be a challenge. My idea is to start at the school level. How about longer hours and more teaching assistants? Start with preschool and stress, almost to the point of brainwashing, the importance of an education. Finds ways to offer rewards for good grades. Make math, science and english more important than sports. It would be expensive in the short term, but in the long run we would have less people on PA.


Quoting Suzy_Sunshine:

I think you're doing a very good job for your children.

I also think that removing innocent children from failing homes will help them. 

Quoting Lorik1969:

For starters, I don't work. My son has trouble in geometry. I barely passed it 25 years ago in high school so all the "brushing up" in the world isn't going to help me understand what he is doing (25 years ago his geometry would have been taught in college). My youngest has a processing disorder. To help him properly I would need a teaching degree. I'm not spending hundred's of dollars a month because I'm lazy.

We live in an area with highly rated schools. Our graduation rate is 98% and we rank above average in standardized testing. Having said that, when my youngest was 2 we took him to the school to be tested because he wasn't developing properly. After a year of therapy he hadn't improved so we had him tested privately. The school refuse to recognize our diagnosis because they didn't want to treat him (which they were required by law to do). Proper therapy required one-on-one teaching using a special program. They told me flat out that they couldn't afford it. We could have sued to force them but then my son would have lost valuable learning time. We put him in private therapy, again several hundred dollars a month. Had he not received that therapy I know he would not be doing as well as he is today.

My point is that if a good, middle class school can't, or won't, provide appropriate help, what kind of services do you think you get for free? If the kids can't pass minimum standards, is it only a few or is it the majority of the school?

I agree that something needs to be done to help disadvantaged kids get a better education. Removing them from their homes isn't the answer.





Quoting Suzy_Sunshine:

You raise some worthwhile points. However we are not talking about high acheivement we are talking about children who fail to meet the bare minimum standards. If you did not work then you would have the time to brush up on the subjects troubling your children. Parents can help by ensuring that their children take advantage of the myriad free services available to poor children and by simply ensuring that their children do their work. 

I think we need to stop blaming the schools when families are failing.

Quoting Lorik1969:

It's not always about irresponsible parents. Both of my sons go to a tutor, to the tune of almost $400 a month. Without tutoring, my 10th grader would probably be failing math. High school math today is like college math 20 years ago. I sucked at it back then and it's even worse now, so I'm no help to him. The younger one (7th grade) needs help with reading comprehension, something I wouldn't even know if we hadn't had him tested privately as a small child because the school failed to properly diagnose him. I do all of this to insure they get the best possible education but it takes lots of $$! We aren't loaded by any means. One of my cars is 12 years old and we go without a lot of extra's to do it, but you can't get blood from a rock.


Instead of taking children from their parents, how about improving the schools? Should a child be taken away because he has a learning disorder thst was never diagnosed or isn't being properly treated? Because the parents can't help with homework anymore and can't afford a tutor? How is forcing kids into an institution good for society? The whole thing sounds pretty cold to me.








Quoting Suzy_Sunshine:

I think it should be paired with free residential schooling for children who do not perform adequately at school. 

If their parents are not responsible, then their is absolutely no justification for the government to require me to pay their parents to care for them.

If we have to hire caregivers for these children then let's employ professionals who will do the job!


Quoting OHgirlinCA:

This is such a terrible idea. 




On a side note, I find it really sad that people are suggesting ways like this to force parents to be responsible about their children's education.  I really don't think it would help much.  Irresponsible parents will still be that way.  It's too much work for some to step up to the plate.










Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)