VIDEO: Senator Suggests Providing Welfare Based on Kids’ Grades

BY: - 1 Feb '13 | On the Web

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This past Thursday, Tennessee senator, Stacey Campfield, initiated a bill that would base welfare funding on the grades of the receiver’s child(ren). The bill would reduce the amount of aid given to those whose children receive less than satisfactory grades in school.

In an effort to make parents understand the importance of education, Senator Campfield believes that the only motivational tool left is payments made to families. He believes the bill, which would reduce a family’s welfare payments by 30%, has the potential to be used on a national level to break the chains of “generations of poverty.”

“Like I said, I don’t want these kids to be rocket scientists,” Campfield said. “I don’t want them to split the atom. Listen, passing a grade is not too high a standard. To say, ‘Listen, if your kid shows up at school at 11 o’clock in your pajamas, that kid is not ready for school.’ Families have to take a responsibility for having the kids prepared to go to school.”

Campfield’s proposal, much like his past efforts to require citizens of Tennessee to pass drug tests before receiving government benefits, is not without opposition. MSNBC anchor, Martin Bashir, brought up the effect on students who do badly in school because of bad conditions at home and teachers’ willingness to hurt a child’s grade knowing it may affect their family’s financial needs. During a recent interview, Bashir also questioned Campfield on placing that much pressure on a child to do well.

“Is it going to be perfect, is every child going to be saved? No,” Campfield said, before adding, “The give-a-man-a-fish system is not working.”

Read the full article on MSNBC’s website and watch the interview below.

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 BMWK — What do you think of Senator Campfield’s proposal?

Video and Image Credit: MSNBC


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  • Alicen

    I’m all for making parents accountable for their children; however, I don’t believe it’s up to our government to place an undue burden on children who don’t “measure up” to a standardized grading sytstem that isn’t the best it should be. I think those proponents for this measure should go back to the drawing board. There are too many holes in this measure and enough of OUR children have fallen through the cracks of society.

  • Sharon Harper

    First this New Michigan Law: No Welfare Benefits If Kids Skip School; now this, what will he think of next. These are the types of people voters put in office.

  • Tanya

    The question remains-how do we hold parents accountable? There are free programs available that parents choose not to take advantage of. They’ll take the handouts but rarely take advantage of free tutoring, testing tip seminars, ect,. Hit parents where they’ll feel it because educators are doing it ALL!I truly believe that parents will become more involved if their govt assistance depended on it. It’s actually not a horrible idea-

  • Tonya

    While I understand our current education system is extremely flawed, I think our welfare system is as well. Call me crazy but I dont think this is a bad idea either. Working at my current position I see so many young girls who have dropped out of school and or barely graduated, definitely not in a postion to attend college. This puts them at a higher likelihood of repeating welfare cycles. While parents should be accountable for their children’s grades, the truth is all parents are not. Perhaps this will motivate some to keep a closer eye on their childrens performance.

  • Aja

    This is absolutely ridiculous. Grades are not an effective measure of good parenting or whether or not parents place a high value on education. As a matter of fact, two children can have the same parents and have drastically different grades. This doesn’t take into account any of the myriad of factors that can influence a child’s school performance outside of a parent’s role; learning difficulties, differences in school districts and teaching styles, challenges in a particular subject, peer influence, differences in test taking, just to name a few. This is not the way to address welfare reform, at all.