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Post image for Lawmaker: Cut Welfare To Families Whose Kids Don’t Do Well In School

Lawmaker: Cut Welfare To Families Whose Kids Don’t Do Well In School

by David Badash on January 27, 2013

in Discrimination,Education,News,Politics

Stacey Campfield wants to cut welfare to families if their children don’t perform well in school. The Tennessee state senator is well-known around the country for his ignorant and anti-gay remarks, like claiming it’s “virtually impossible” for HIV/AIDS to be transmitted via intercourse between a man and a woman, and for being the author of Tennessee’s infamous “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

READ: Top 10 Most-Offensive Things About Anti-Gay Tennessee Senator Campfield (That You Didn’t Already Know)

“This is just restricting it [food stamps] to those who are truly in need versus those who are abusing the system,” Campfield says, calling his bill a step toward “breaking the cycle of poverty,” as he told KnoxNews:

“If the family doesn’t care if the child goes to school or does well in school, the odds of that child getting out of poverty are pretty low,” the senator said.

The bill applies to the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program. Current law says parents or guardians of children who are receiving benefits can lose 20 percent of their benefits if a child does not attend school.

Campfield’s bill adds a new requirement that the child make “satisfactory academic progress” as well and raises the penalty to 30 percent of benefits.

“The maximum benefit for a mother with two children is $185 a month,” [executive director of the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth, Linda] O’Neal said in an interview. “That’s already low. If you take 60-plus dollars away, you’re just further limiting people who already have extremely few resources… It’s just piling on.”

Senate Democratic Leader Jim Kyle of Memphis said he would oppose the bill because it would “stack the deck against at-risk children.”

“How does Sen. Campfield expect a child to do his homework when there is no food on the dinner table?” he said.

Last year, Senator Campfield was able to pass a bill requiring drug testing — presumably, urine tests — for welfare recipients.

Campfield last year also became the object of much scorn and ridicule, as his infamous “Don’t Say Gay” bill was placed on hold after lawmakers realized that the bill was not only unnecessary — from their own standpoint — but counterproductive as well. In grades K -8, the bill would have made it illegal to discuss homosexuality in any manner at all, and allow only the discussion of heterosexual reproduction. Lawmakers put a hold on the bill upon learning — after more than two years of debate — that Tennessee does not have sex education classes in grades K – 8.



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Holding Hands A “Gateway Sexual Activity” In Just-Passed Tennessee Bill

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Huntercgo January 27, 2013 at 11:20 am

I thought he was just bigoted. Now I realize he's stupid as well. (Not that the two are mutually exclusive,.)

edelbill713 January 27, 2013 at 11:36 am

If the people of Tennessee keep electing this bigoted moron to high public office, they deserve what they get. And what they get is a cycle of stupid bigotry, which is entirely obvious in the simplification of a complex sociopolitical problem by a senator who happens to be a simpleton. I have absolute no sympathy for the people of Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, and so on, because they just don't learn. They thump their bibles and close their hearts and minds to change, despising all who differ from them, huddling in their dark corners with their guns, ranting against the light. They are not to be despised, just understood and opposed or better understood and avoided. Pity their children and pray for their neighbors who achieve enlightenment. This is why the concept of "states" within the union having their own governments is obsolete and dangerous. We need to abolish state governments and local school boards; nationalizing both will drag these poor fools, kicking and screaming, into the 21st Century and salvage future generations. Nothing else will ever work.

BJLincoln January 27, 2013 at 12:45 pm

That is an interesting solution. I do think nationalizing the schools would solve many problems and insure equal education.

Tennessee did elect this moron and they have the power to elect better people. It's kind of a "catch 22"
They are not educated enough to elect good leaders and the bad leaders want to make it harder to get an education.

Huntercgo January 28, 2013 at 6:04 am

The problem is that the people who elected this toad are not the ones who will suffer from his policies — at least, not in the short term, and I doubt they're prepared to think past that.

tacitus January 27, 2013 at 9:54 pm

I disagree; I think the No Child Left Behind act demonstrates that further centralization is not the answer. It would be better to break the power of the home-schooling and private school lobbies, while giving teachers the most power over their curriculum. Cut the strings on money heading to cash-strapped educational districts. Promote technology and knowledge in a non-authoritarian way.

clr1390 January 27, 2013 at 8:33 pm

They are so against abortions, but once that child is alive they do everything in their power to make life miserable.

pagekurtz January 27, 2013 at 8:58 pm

Perhaps he doesn't realize that the kids in the failing districts are suffering from severe intellectual disabilities because they have been POISONED by lead. Read here: , here:… and here: . For the love of god, someone stop this idiot.

johnleesandiego January 28, 2013 at 10:45 am

yeah, because by default special needs kids, whose families usually have higher then usual expenses for medical care and therapy, will be cut off because performance on standardized tests are what he would consider "poor"

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