The geniuses in the Tennessee state legislature have come up with a sure-fire way to incentivize learning.
Legislation to cut welfare benefits of parents with children performing poorly in school has cleared committees of both the House and Senate after being revised to give the parents several ways to avoid the reductions.
The state Department of Human Services, which worked with Republican sponsors to draft the changes, withdrew its previous opposition to SB132. But the measure was still criticized by Democrats, including Rep. Gloria Johnson, D-Knoxville.
The bill is sponsored by Sen. Stacey Campfield, R-Knoxville, and Rep. Vance Dennis, R-Savannah. It calls for a 30 percent reduction in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits to parents whose children are not making satisfactory progress in school.
So it will be some third-grader who has trouble with his multiplication tables who is responsible for his family eating beans with a side of ketchup for dinner. Now there’s a way to instill a love of learning.
On the other hand, the money the state will save can go toward funding the lawyers who will be defending the state in federal court for violating the provisions of Title I.