Tennessee Bill Linking Welfare to School Progress Advances

Apr 4, 2013

A House committee has approved a measure linking a family's welfare benefits to student performance a day after Gov. Bill Haslam expressed serious reservations about the measure. The House Health Committee voted 10-8 Wednesday to advance the bill sponsored by Republican Rep. Vance Dennis.

The measure would cut monthly benefits under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program if a child fails to "maintain satisfactory academic progress." Supporters say that those cuts could be avoided if parents attend conferences with teachers, take parenting classes or enroll their children in tutoring programs or summer school.

Haslam says he doesn't see a connection between welfare benefits and students' grades. The Republican governor says he would strongly consider a veto if it passes both chambers.