In the US where the top 2% are getting richer and richer with help of Republicans and the Tea Party, and the other 98% are only getting poorer, Republican law makers in 2 states are upping the ante.
In Georgia and Tennessee, Republican law makers are in the process of passing legislation that would cut food stamps and other forms of government assistance for poor families if their children’s grades fall below all A’s. This would apply to all families on assistance, even those who have students with learning disabilities and other handicaps. Under the law, assistance could be cut up to 30% depending on the grades of the child. In families with multiple children, up to 40% based on the average of all of the children in the home. Students who get lunch assistance from the state would also see a decrease in the amount of assistance for their lunches.
The bill was introduced by Sen. Stacey Campfield in Tennessee and several others have since come on board. When Campfield introduced the legislation he said parents have “gotten away with doing absolutely nothing to help their children”. Stacy also says SB132 is a step toward “breaking the cycle of poverty”. The bill specifically states that Special education students “who are not academically talented or gifted” would not be exempted from the requirements.
Tennessee already ties welfare to education by mandating a 20 percent cut in benefits if students do not meet attendance standards, but this change would place the burden of maintaining benefits squarely on children, who would face costing their family much-needed assistance if they don’t keep up in school. The new law would also classify poorly performing students as a chargeable offense of child abuse against the parents. Parents of poorly performing students would also be forced to pay for tutors that the state would select.
In short, if this law passes and you are on government assistance and have a student who doesn’t make all A’s, you can expect to spend more for their school lunches, and see less help from the government to buy things like food, essentially turning government assistance for the poor into toned down version of the hunger games.