New bill ties welfare checks into students grades

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) --- It's an idea that is already raising eyebrows and it was only introduced this month.

Campfield's bill would drastically change the way welfare is handed out.

In addition to your family's size and your income, the state would look at how your kids are doing in school.

Son or daughter failing classes or missing classes? Your cash benefits would be cut by as much as thirty percent.

"Parents you got to take some responsibility to make sure they show up," Campfield told us outside his home. "Make sure they do their homework and if you don't we're going to take part of the cash payment benefits the state gives you already."

But parents who depend on what is already a very small amount of money say any cuts would be devastating and tying in kids grades to the money they live on would be cruel.

Vickie McDaniel was on welfare while she was raising her son as a single parent. She balanced diapers with a role as a part time student and a 30 hour a week job.

Her son had an undiagnosed learning disability and struggled halfway through high school before dropping out.

McDaniel said she did her best to work with him but under Campfield's bill her best wouldn't be good enough, she would lose some benefits.

"Its a stupid concept. It's a stupid concept, it's inane and ludicrious." McDaniel told us. "It angers me to think someone would come up with this idea I just dont understand where that came from."

Senator Campfield introduced his bill this month, it has not been brought up for a vote yet.