Tying Welfare Benefits to Students' Grades
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In Tennessee, parents getting welfare benefits can already see cuts if their kids don’t go to school.

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(Image source: The Tennessean ) BY CHRISTINA HARTMAN In Tennessee, parents getting welfare benefits can already see cuts if their kids don’t go to school. Now, Republican state senator Stacey Campfield is introducing legislation that would tie GRADES to those benefits. [Photo: Tenn. General Assembly ] Again, parents in Tennessee face a 20 percent cut in benefits if their kids are chronically absent from school. The thinking there was incentivizing attendance. Campfield’s proposal would make it 30 percent if kids are not performing. So what kinda threshold are we talking here? He told reporters: “We’re not asking children to re-write the Magna Carta... A D-minus gets you through.” And he says his hope is breaking the cycle of poverty by encouraging achievement in school. But this has all the makings of a controversy: welfare, parenting, schools... “Campfield says and we quote ‘nothing motivates people like money.’” [Video: WREG ] “Critics are already blasting it--- saying it could hurt students in the end.” [Video: WGHP ] ...critics like the Nashville Scene’s Betsy Phillips — who called the move sad. “...what if you have one child who excels at school and one child who doesn't? Campfield is cool with starving the child who is doing well in order to punish the child who isn't?” She wasn’t the only one that took the “starving children” line of criticism — so too did The Inquisitr . Some context — according to the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth — a mother with two children gets around $185 a month — and the group says cutting benefits further is just “piling on.” But Campfield counters — parents have a choice to make: “If a parent doesn't care if a child shows up for school, if they show up they don't care if they are asleep during the school day, as long as they are getting their check, i mean we have to motivate these parents.” [Video: Fox News ] Campfield, by the way, has in the past advocated legislation for drug testing welfare recipients as well as those on unemployment and workers comp. According to CNBC , Tennessee has the third highest percentage of its population on welfare — at 2.15 percent.