Tag Archives: performance

Bill Tying Welfare Benefits to School Performance Revised, Advancing

Legislation to cut welfare benefits of parents with children performing poorly in school has cleared committees of both the House and Senate after being revised to give the parents several ways to avoid the reductions.
The state Department of Human Services, which worked with Republican sponsors to draft the changes, withdrew its previous opposition to SB132. But the measure was still criticized by Democrats, including Rep. Gloria Johnson, D-Knoxville.
The bill is sponsored by Sen. Stacey Campfield, R-Knoxville, and Rep. Vance Dennis, R-Savannah. It calls for a 30 percent reduction in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits to parents whose children are not making satisfactory progress in school.
As amended, it would not apply when a child has a handicap or learning disability or when the parent takes steps to try improving the youngster’s school performance — such as signing up for a “parenting class,” arranging a tutoring program or attending a parent-teacher conference.
Dennis told the House Health Subcommittee the measure now only applies to “parents who do nothing.” He described the measure as “a carrot and stick approach.”
Johnson, a teacher, said the bill will still put “the burden of the family budget on children’s performance in school” and that would mean a “huge stress on a young person who is trying to do what he can.”

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Bill Would Tie Welfare Benefits to Child School Performance

State Sen. Stacey Campfield has proposed legislation that would cut welfare benefits to parents whose children fail to make “satisfactory academic progress” in school, a move he says should inspire parents to take a more active role in helping students learn.
While the Knoxville Republican says SB132 is a step toward “breaking the cycle of poverty,” Linda O’Neal, executive director of the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth, says it could make life more difficult for parents and children who are already struggling.
Campfield said in an interview that the best way to “break the cycle of poverty” is through education and a child’s success in schooling rests on a “three-legged stool” – teachers, schools and parents.(Note: His blog post on the bill is HERE.)
He said Tennessee has already embarked on education reforms designed to improve the quality of teachers and the quality of schools. There should also be a focus on the “third leg,” parents, he said.
“We’ve set the tone (through legislation) to push and improve teachers and schools,” Campfield said. “Now is the time to push those parents. This bill is giving them motivation to do more to help their children learn in school.”

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Former Rep. Chris Clem Named to Judicial Evaluation Commission

News release from Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey’s office:
NASHVILLE – Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey today announced the appointment of former State Representative Chris Clem to the Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission.
“Chris has spent a career both in and out of the legislature highly engaged in judicial issues. I can think of no one more qualified to evaluate the judiciary than my friend, Chris,” said Lt. Governor Ramsey. “This state needs high quality judges who interpret the law and do not legislate from the bench. With his experience, insight and integrity, I am confident Chris Clem will work hard to ensure Tennessee has a judicial branch of which it can be proud. I’m extremely pleased he has once again answered the call to serve.”
A fifth generation Tennessean, Clem was a leading conservative Republican in the Tennessee Legislature from 2000 to 2006 representing House District 27. A graduate of the University of Tennessee, Clem has represented clients in complex litigation and personal injury claims for almost twenty years.
Clem is currently an attorney at Samples, Jennings, Ray & Clem, PLLC and is a certified public accountant. He lives in Chattanooga with his wife, Liz. They have two children, a son and a daughter.
The Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission reviews the performance of appellate judges using surveys, interviews and other information, as required by law. The Commission uses these evaluations to publish a report in which the Commission recommends appellate judges for retention or replacement. Of the nine members of the Commission, two are appointed by the Speaker of the Senate, two are appointed by the Speaker of the House and five are appointed by the Judicial Council.
Among the qualities the commission looks for in the judges are integrity, knowledge and understanding of the law, an ability to communicate, preparation and attentiveness, service to the profession, effectiveness in working with other judges and court personnel.