Less than 24 hours after hearing public outcry, Hamilton County Schools reversed its decision not to honor state vouchers for child care this school year. Students from low-income households and foster children who are in the care of the state are eligible for free child care before and after school, but at the end of the 2017-18 school year, Hamilton County decided to stop accepting the vouchers. About 34 students of more than 6,500 students served by the district's program were impacted. On Monday, about two dozen foster parents gathered at a meeting of the Chattanooga Area Foster and Adoptive Care Association to discuss their concerns, and by Tuesday afternoon, the district had changed course. "As a program focused on children and service to families in the community, we feel the decision to end the Child Care Certificate Program with the state does not fit with the values of our program or Hamilton County Schools. As a result, we want to make this right for the children and our … [Read more...] about Hamilton County Schools reverses its decision, will honor child care vouchers
Tennessee department of human services
TULSA, Okla. — A Tulsa woman who was captured on Tuesday after police said she stabbed her 11-year-old daughter and left home with her 8-year-old daughter, said she committed the acts after becoming angry about the children’s behavior while reading and looking at her, police said.Taheerah Ayesha Ahmad, 39, and her 8-year-old daughter Hafsa Hayle — who also goes by Hafsa Hussein — were found in a parking lot near Cameron and Main streets about 12:20 p.m. Tuesday. The girl was found safe.Police located Ahmad and her daughter after two women — Anastasia Brazendeh and Emily Wilson — spotted Ahmad’s 2002 black Lexus sport utility vehicle and called authorities. They learned of the case after police issued an Amber Alert late Monday.The 11-year-old child who was stabbed is in critical condition, police said. She was described as in “very serious” condition as of Tuesday evening, adding that she was unconscious and underwent … [Read more...] about Police say a woman stabbed her 11-year-old daughter dozens of times. Women’s vigilance helped police find her.
Only about one-third of Tennessee's third-grade students are reading on grade level. Students are able to understand what they hear, and are performing well when it comes to vocabulary and language, but they still struggle with reading comprehension, fluency and writing, according to a new report released Wednesday by the Tennessee Department of Education. But that isn't news. Tennessee students' dismal performance when it comes to reading and language skills was the very reason the First Steps report was conducted. The report looks at the work done in the two years since the department set the ambitious goal of at least 75 percent of third-graders in the state reading on grade level by 2025. Progress is being made across the state, the report finds, but several recommendations outline the next steps the state needs to take to ensure it meets that goal. Though students are doing better in reading than those in 2016, they still fall short of national averages. Hamilton County Schools … [Read more...] about State sharpens focus on improving literacy skills of Tennessee students
NASHVILLE — State representatives on Monday gave final approval to legislation increasing Tennessee's welfare cash payments for the first time in 22 years, while also toughening the program's anti-fraud provisions. The vote in favor of the bill, which ran into trouble last week on the floor, was 88-7. The measure now goes to Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, whose administration recommended it. "This is a good bill," said Rep. Dan Howell, R-Georgetown, the bill's sponsor. "It's time we gave a cost-of-living allowance to these 40,000 children in Tennessee." The GOP-controlled chamber earlier tabled a proposed amendment from Rep. Tilman Goins, R-Morristown, which last Thursday had snarled proceedings when it survived Howell's efforts to table it. The Goins' amendment would have stripped away the increase, which boosts the percentage of Tennessee's Standard of Need for households in the Families First program, the state's federally funded Temporary Assistance for … [Read more...] about Tennessee House OK’s bill increasing welfare cash benefits for first time since 1996
NASHVILLE — Legislative supporters hope this week to get back on track a Haslam administration bill that toughens fraud enforcement in the state's welfare program while also boosting families' cash payments for the first time in nearly a quarter century. The bill was almost derailed on the House floor last week when proponents narrowly failed to quash an amendment to keep the new enforcement provisions while eliminating the first increases to the program since its 1996 inception. That prompted Rep. Dan Howell, R-Georgetown, the sponsor, to delay further consideration. The bill is scheduled to come back Monday to the House floor. "I think we have the votes to pass it," Howell said Friday. "Unfortunately, the people who stood to oppose it and tried to amend it focused on one aspect of the bill. There are many more elements than just the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families element." Temporary Assistance to Needy Families is the federally funded but state-administered workforce … [Read more...] about Haslam bill toughening fraud enforcement, increasing welfare benefits returns to House floor after rocky start