Supporting School Success for Children Receiving TANF

Apr 03, 2013

By Elizabeth Lower-Basch

This week, committees in the Tennessee legislature approved a bill that would cut parents' TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) cash assistance benefits if their children failed to be promoted to the next grade at school.  This proposal is based on an inaccurate and stereotyped belief that poor parents need to be coerced into caring about their children's school achievement.  If enacted, it will create new paperwork burdens for schools and welfare agencies, already straining under budget cuts.  Most importantly, it risks pushing the most vulnerable children even deeper into poverty.

If legislators really want to improve educational outcomes for children whose families receive TANF, here are some policies that would actually make a difference.

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