published Thursday, April 11th, 2013

Welfare penalty for parents dead this session in Tennessee

NASHVILLE — A proposal that would dock the welfare payments of parents whose children fail school is dead.

After about a 40-minute debate on the Senate floor Thursday, Republican Sen. Sponsor Stacey Campfield decided to pull the bill so it can be studied over the summer.

Both Republicans and Democrats expressed concern about the legislation, which sought to cut Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits by 30 percent if a child fails to advance to the next grade.

The money could be earned back if a parent attends two conferences with teachers, takes parenting classes or enrolls the child in tutoring programs or summer school.

Opponents of the legislation said it’s constitutionally suspect and that it could lead to repercussions for a child in the home of an abusive parent.

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