TENNESSEE (WATE) — One statewide nonprofit organization is showing support for a new piece of legislation being introduced in the Tennessee General Assembly.
The Tennessee Opportunity Act was introduced by Sen. Bo Watson (R-Chattanooga) and by Rep. David Hawk (R – Greeneville)
The proposed act, which you can view by clicking HERE, would allow $300 million of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program to be divided among groups that apply for funding.
The groups would send in an application to be viewed by an advisory board. If approved, $500,000 would be presented to an agency to help in different ways, including evidence-based studies, quality childcare programs, and workforce development.
Rep. Hawk recently told WJHL there’s currently a $700 million surplus of TANF funds, and this would help address needs across the state.
It is a sentiment shared by Nurture the Next, an agency that “works to see all children in Tennessee thriving in safe, stable, and nurturing families and communities. Nurture the Next is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that serves all 95 counties in Tennessee,” according to their website.
President and CEO Kristen Davis also provided the following statement to WATE 6 On Your Side about the program.
“Ending generational poverty within families starts with helping low-income parents provide a strong foundation in life for their children. The strategies outlined in the Tennessee Opportunity Act are rooted in evidence-based practices that are proven to change outcomes for children. We strongly support this legislation and encourage members of the General Assembly to pass it. Although the TANF surplus should have never grown this large to begin with, the existence of these funds will now allow communities across the state to show how a concentration of the right early childhood investments not only improves children’s lives, but also strengthens the entire community,” Davis said.
You can learn more about Nurture the Next by visiting their website HERE.
The statewide agency also has an office at 1660 Oak Ridge Turnpike in East Tennessee.
You can contact the Oak Ridge office by calling (865) 483-7377.