Make the Grade or Starve: Lawmaker Ties Welfare Benefits to School Performance

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“This bill stacks the deck against at-risk children,” said state Senate Democratic leader Jim Kyle.  “How does Sen. Campfield expect a child to do his homework when there is no food on the dinner table?”

This hardly marks the first time Campfield has drawn the ire of colleagues and some of the state’s more civic-minded citizens stemming from some of his proposed legislation. He has previously introduced bills aimed at cracking down on those who use their electronic benefits transfer (EBT) cards to purchase inappropriate items by setting up penalties for both those who use them and accept them for such transactions.

Again, O’Neal is among those who has voiced reservations about such a measure, arguing that such instances are “extremely isolated cases” and some of them may even be explained as cases where some accede such funds from restricted businesses only to use the money to purchase food, clothing or other allowable necessities.

In 2012, he was also at the forefront in pushing failed legislation that would require all welfare recipients, those drawing unemployment compensation and those receiving workers’ compensation to submit to regular drug testing.

“We’ve set the tone through legislation to push and improve teachers and schools,” Campfield said in reference to SB30. “Now is the time to push those parents. This bill is giving them motivation to do more to help their children learn in school. The ‘give a man a fish’ theory is not working.”

And the ‘starve a child’ one will?

Glenn Minnis is a NYC-based sports and culture writer. Follow him on Twitter at @glennnyc.

(Photo: AP)

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