A pair of Republican
douchebags lawmakers in Tennessee have introduced a draconian piece of legislation that will, if passed, withhold welfare benefits to mostly poor, black low-income families if their children perform poorly in school.
Yeah, you heard that right. But let me say it again anyway: Tennessee Republicans, like Republican lawmakers everywhere always fighting each other for top spot on the "Bigot Of The Year" totem pole, want to hold back lush, extravagant welfare benefits to families with academically underperforming children because
many are black they wish to "decrease expenditures" while encouraging "personal responsibility".
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Stacey Campfield (R-Racist) and Rep. Vance Dennis (R-Bigot), "...requires 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."
Ain't that sweet?
The bill--Senate Bill 132, House Bill 261--specifically applies to low income families only. Yes, really. For proof, consider the fact that there's no provision in the wording of the amendment for how middle- and upper-income families will be penalized if their kids fail to perform in school. Are you below the poverty level and in need of government help to keep your family from forced living in a refrigerator box below an I-40 underpass in Nashville? Well, then, be sure your kids get on and stay on the Honor Roll, Mom! But on the other hand, if you're well-off, or even just getting by, your D- and F-earning student children won't hurt your family's finances one bit.
Good fucking deal, right?
This bill adds to the present law requirements for personal responsibility plans by requiring that the parent or other caretaker relative, regardless of age or disabling status, enter a plan that requires the children in the family to both attend and maintain satisfactory academic progress in school. For purposes of this bill, maintenance of satisfactory academic progress in school will be demonstrated by complying with school attendance requirements and receiving a score of proficient or advanced on required state examinations in the subject areas of mathematics and reading or language arts, demonstrating competency as determined by the state board of education on two end of course examinations, or maintaining a grade point average that is sufficient to ascend to the next grade. A student may attend a summer school course in the subject area in which the student has failed or has scored below proficient or failed to demonstrate competency. The student must receive a passing grade in such summer school course to achieve satisfactory academic progress. The requirements of this bill relative to competency on required state examinations or grade point averages shall not apply to students who have Individualized Educational Placements and who are not academically talented or gifted. (Source)I'd be interested in hearing the bill's sponsors real reason for such a bill, but in several news articles, it was noted that neither was available for comment. I have no insider knowledge, of course, but suggest that they may have been busy being fitted for
I know, I know: perhaps I'm being too harsh on the sponsors. After all, it's true that Campfield was the one who made a fuss back in 2005 about how the legislative Black Caucus was "racist" because it wouldn't let in whites, and he's the genius who introduced a bill in 2007 to issue death certificates to aborted fetuses, and the guy who proposed in 2008 that school teachers can't teach about homosexuality, and the guy whosponsored a 2008 bill that would have allowed public college teachers to carry handguns to class, and the guy who wanted to limit lottery winnings to $600 for
African-Americans those on public assistance, and the guy who wanted to ban illegal immigrants from school. But perhaps his actions only make him seem like an unreasonably hateful asshole. And, yeah, Dennis is the Bible-thumping ALEC member who wanted to carve out an exemption in an anti-bullying bill for the "expression" of religious or political views, and one of many Rs who publicly expressed appreciation for Todd Akins' gynecological knowledge. But maybe he's really not, as he appears, an inveterate dickwad?
Nah. He really is an inveterate dickwad.
For those living in Tennessee, I'm afraid I have no real call to action for you this time except for this:
Or, you know, feel free to call and write. Or, hell, pay these, er, fine southern gentlemen a visit next time you're in Nashville:
Senator Stacey Campfield
301 6th Avenue North
Suite 317 War Memorial Bldg.
Nashville, TN 37243
Rep. Vance Dennis
301 6th Avenue North
Suite 102 War Memorial Bldg.
Nashville TN 37243
(615) 253-0377 (fax)