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Bill linking welfare to school progress advances

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A House committee has approved a measure linking a family's welfare benefits to student performance a day after Gov. Bill Haslam expressed serious reservations about the measure.

The House Health Committee on Wednesday voted 10-8 to advance the bill sponsored by Republican Rep. Vance Dennis of Savannah.

The measure would cut monthly benefits under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program if a child fails to "maintain satisfactory academic progress."

Supporters noted that those cuts could be avoided if parents attend conferences with teachers, take parenting classes or enroll their children in tutoring programs or summer school.

Haslam said Tuesday that he doesn't see a connection between welfare benefits and students' grades. The Republican governor told reporters he would "very strongly" consider a veto if it passes both chambers.


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