ONTD Political

Stacey Campfield, Tennessee GOP Lawmaker, Wants To Tie Welfare Benefits To Children's Grades

10:22 pm - 01/26/2013
Tennessee state Rep. Stacey Campfield (R) introduced a bill this week seeking to make welfare benefits contingent upon the grades of a would-be recipient's children.

Campfield's legislation, filed Thursday, would "require 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." TANF is more commonly referred to as welfare.

Under Campfield's bill, welfare recipients would face a loss of benefits if their children showed poor academic performance. It's unclear how these factors would be tied to one another, or how the children's performance would be assessed.

In a blog addressing his proposal, Campfield calls his bill a measure to "break the cycle of poverty." According to Campfield, education is a "three legged stool" comprised of schools, teachers and parents. He claims the state has adequately held the first two legs of the school accountable, but argues that it should apply more pressure on the third.

"The third leg of the stool (probably the most important leg) is the parents," Campfield writes. "We have done little to hold them accountable for their child's performance. What my bill would do is put some responsibility on parents for their child's performance."

Campfield has been a pioneer of creative ways to target beneficiaries of entitlement programs in the past. He was a driving force behind failed efforts to require Tennesseeans seeking government benefits to first pass drug tests.

He was also the legislator behind Tennessee's controversial and ill-fated "don't say gay bill" in early 2012.

Source: HuffPo

OP: First time posting here. Mods, I hope I've got all this right. If I haven't, let me know what I need to fix.
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gloraelin 27th-Jan-2013 03:32 am (UTC)
I think you forgot to close a bold tag.

Also, what the fuck! What if a kid has a learning disability? what if a kid is stressed and can't concentrate because *gasp* he's not getting the food and other things he needs to be successful because *gasp* the state just made him the focus of the entire family's needs? I mean, really?! you're making a KID the pin on which proper aid hinges?! that's not going to fuck with the kid's mind, oh no, not at all!
mickeym 27th-Jan-2013 03:33 am (UTC)
I did, and I just caught it. Sorry about that!

And yeah, my first, instinctive reaction was ??!!??, because my son is on the autism spectrum -- and his grades are NOT good, no matter what we do or try.

Ugh.
tiddlywinks103 27th-Jan-2013 03:34 am (UTC)
What disgusting classism/racism/sexism.
moonshaz 27th-Jan-2013 04:53 am (UTC)
And ableism. Don't forget that one!
littlelauren86 27th-Jan-2013 06:12 pm (UTC)
Couldn't have said it better myself.
mollybarton 27th-Jan-2013 03:55 am (UTC)
Riiiiight. Cut the family's benefits so the kids go hungry and then do even worse in school. That's a well thought out plan.
wrestlingdog 27th-Jan-2013 12:25 pm (UTC)
EXACTLY!
ahria 27th-Jan-2013 04:01 am (UTC)
You know, when my mother disappeared for days to use and I was raising my two younger siblings I totes had time to study. We didn't always have enough to eat as it was, so punishing me and my sibligs for my shit grades makes lots of sense. I get that they think they're just punishing the parents because apparently children aren't people but seriously, my mom didn't give a shit. This bill wouldn't have made her care either. So then we would've gone hungry more often.

(I'm not in any way trying to imply that people on welfare are bad parents like mine was, btw)

jadedcupcakes 27th-Jan-2013 07:31 am (UTC)
I feel your pain, I came from a family of 5 and I was the oldest. My dad married this woman and I became her babysitter and house cleaner. While my Dad worked 16-18 hour days, she would disappear and spend his money on clothing, nails and hair. We were on welfare. I did so poorly in grade school due to having to watch, feed, bathe and take care of my other 4 siblings. While my evil stepmother did lavish things and my dad worked his ass off. I hardly saw them. My parents didn't care about jack crap.
kitchen_poet I think this needs a "Not the Onion" tag! 27th-Jan-2013 04:12 am (UTC)
What complete and utter nonsense, I'm sitting here with my mouth ajar. Also, take a hint GOP: hard to be on the honor roll when you can't concentrate due to hunger!
mickeym Re: I think this needs a "Not the Onion" tag! 27th-Jan-2013 04:20 am (UTC)
Done :)

(I had major first-time-posting nerves, lemme tell you.)
nova_night 27th-Jan-2013 04:18 am (UTC)
Oh hell no, you don't try and pull this kind of thing. There is already to much pressure in many of those families as it is. And now you want make their next meal all depend in a child's grades?

I am really happy to hear that under this rule I would have gone hungry as a child. Because a min wage single income can't cover the cost of two kids, let alone the medication that my brother needed for depression. The same depression that had him fail two years of high school.
violetrose 27th-Jan-2013 04:53 am (UTC)
But they're not punishing poor families or their children - they're just "motivating" them! (I am fairly certain this is what he thinks will happen, rather than what will actually happen; more stress on families, children going hungry, etc, because they are that out of touch with reality).

And this would've made me go hungry, too. Not because my dad didn't care, but because I was fucking miserable. So yeah, punish him and me because my school was total shit - makes perfect sense, really (in the minds of conservatives).
mollywobbles867 27th-Jan-2013 04:37 am (UTC)
Brb, writing an angry email.

What I sent (I specified the bill in the subject):

As a citizen of TN, I think this bill is deplorable. Poor kids already tend to not do as well in school because it's the end of the month and they can't eat as much, they have to work themselves, they cannot afford tutors, their parents can't help them with homework because they work all the time or don't have a good enough education themselves. What if the children have a learning or social disability? To tie the family's well being when it comes to food or help with rent is immoral. It puts an undue burden on the child, who would be blamed or beaten by abusive parents. Denying them benefits would just make doing well in school even more difficult. By introducing this bill you are not serving the people of TN, but rather your own career in a party that regularly denigrates the poor.


Edited at 2013-01-27 04:51 am (UTC)
kyra_neko_rei 27th-Jan-2013 05:09 am (UTC)
I can't think of much more horrible than to be a child who just can't get something, whether due to learning disability or social issues or just an incompatible learning style to the teacher's teaching style, and know that her failure is costing her family so much money.

Unless it's being a parent of that child, having to decide what to tell the child about it in the first place. Especially in those situations where you're not sure whether the child could get it if she really tries, or if she really can't get it. What if you guess wrong? What if you starve for three or four months and when the child finds out she's horrified because she would've taken it so much more seriously if she'd known? Or what if you tell the child it's based on her academic performance and she really was trying and try as she might she can't do better?
tallycola 27th-Jan-2013 04:54 am (UTC)
What a fucking moron. "Breaking the cycle of poverty" by making it EVEN HARDER for poor kids to get an education? This person needs to be voted out forever.

Next thing you know they'll be giving out benefits tied to promising the child for the army or something, Hunger Games style.
bella_cheval 27th-Jan-2013 05:24 am (UTC)
Oh fuck don't give them ideas!
kyra_neko_rei 27th-Jan-2013 05:03 am (UTC)
Because nothing helps children learn and instills a love of learning like knowing your ability to eat for the next month depends on you acing that test.

What the everloving FUCK is she thinking?

Under Campfield's bill, welfare recipients would face a loss of benefits if their children showed poor academic performance.

How does she think this wouldn't get around to putting pressure on children?
mollywobbles867 27th-Jan-2013 05:24 am (UTC)
He*
tabaqui 27th-Jan-2013 05:12 am (UTC)
This makes me want to heave. And then go kick some asses. For fuck's sake.
wikilobbying 27th-Jan-2013 05:19 am (UTC)
wow, fuck him. how exactly would this end the cycle of poverty? magic?
zinnia_rose 27th-Jan-2013 05:21 am (UTC)
Because clearly only kids who do well in school should get to eat!
ceilidh 27th-Jan-2013 06:01 am (UTC)
many people are leaving him pieces of their mind on his blog. http://lastcar.blogspot.com/2013/01/the-third-leg.html?m=1
thrace_ 27th-Jan-2013 06:33 am (UTC)
Wow at his copy-paste response to everyone trying to bring logic into that blog post. No actual response eh, you turdbag?
stainedfeathers 27th-Jan-2013 06:15 am (UTC)
I habuh wha-eh wh...
*please hold, brain attempting to reboot*
.
.
.
.

.

sophiaserpentia 27th-Jan-2013 06:42 am (UTC)
"We, the party of smaller government, want to reduce the size of the bureaucracy.

"Unless, you know, it's to keep poor people from getting entitlement money. In that case, we'll spend even more money setting up a huge new bureaucracy than we'll save from the miniscule cuts they wind up making."
ahzuri 27th-Jan-2013 07:55 am (UTC)
A) This is fucked and B) I guess this lady doesn't realize that some stools function with only 3 legs? Not that the education system isn't a mess as she was trying to imply but still.

Edited at 2013-01-27 07:56 am (UTC)
ohmiya_sg 27th-Jan-2013 10:49 am (UTC)
Stacey is apparently a guy.
lizzy_someone 27th-Jan-2013 07:57 am (UTC)
No, you see, this is perfectly logical. Everybody knows that being desperately poor, not being able to afford enough to eat let alone a tutor, having to work many hours per week to help support your family, and having a shit ton of stress and worry and guilt piled on you is practically guaranteed to make you successful in school!
umi_mikazuki 27th-Jan-2013 07:59 am (UTC)
I hate this man so much. I don't just want him out of my fucking state, I want him off of my fucking planet.
simply_blah 27th-Jan-2013 05:08 pm (UTC)
I want him out of my county but he represents West Knoxville/Farragut. They aren't going to vote for someone else out there.
usnbfs 27th-Jan-2013 08:01 am (UTC)
At least that will help with overpopulation, right? Of course he can't suggest eating children, but letting them starve if they are deemed stupid by our school system sounds humane enough.
boundbyash 27th-Jan-2013 08:02 am (UTC)
Just out of curiosity, I wonder how he would motivate the children of rich parents to do better academically? Oh wait, I forgot - only children of poor parents get bad grades at school, right?

How do these assholes like this get elected?
lovedforaday 27th-Jan-2013 10:43 am (UTC)
Because most of the people in his district are conservative Repub assholes?
nesmith 27th-Jan-2013 10:19 am (UTC)
At some point in time I really had hope that we as a species had moved beyond the horrible idea of "motivating" people to do something with the threat of withholding something as vital as sustenance.

Yet another hope dashed.
illusivevenstar 27th-Jan-2013 11:20 am (UTC)
I hate republicans. Pure unadulterated hatred.
nikoel 29th-Jan-2013 07:17 pm (UTC)
They literally don't care about anything but money.
wrestlingdog 27th-Jan-2013 12:27 pm (UTC)
So... you want to "break the cycle of poverty".... by taking away a family's benefits if their kids don't do well in school?

That sounds helpful.
redstar826 27th-Jan-2013 01:38 pm (UTC)
If I knew that one of my student's grades would impact their family's benefits, I'd be pretty damned tempted to do whatever I could to inflate that kid's grades. I bet there would be other teachers who would do the same.
thelilyqueen 27th-Jan-2013 02:04 pm (UTC)
Yup, much as there are docs who will fudge the insurance paperwork to see meds or procedures are covered so their patient can get the care they need.
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