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Should students be paid to attend school?
August 25th, 2011
06:00 PM ET

Should students be paid to attend school?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The city of Camden, New Jersey, reportedly will pay high school students $100 each not to skip school.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports the move is part of an effort to end truancy. It will focus on conflict-resolution and anger-management workshops during the first month of school, the paper says.

The program - called I Can End Truancy or ICE-T for short - is being funded by a grant from New Jersey's Department of Criminal Justice. The money needs to be used by September 30, or Camden won't have a shot at getting the grant next year, according to the Inquirer.

Sixty-six participating students will be paid $100 each on September 30 if they attend most of the anti-truancy sessions and school days, the newspaper says.

The students and their parents have to sign a pledge saying the youths won't skip classes later in the year. Officials will track the students’ attendance.

Absences will be assessed case by case because many of the young people in Camden face "extraordinary things," one official told the Inquirer. For example, a ninth-grader in the program can't read, and several students go hungry at home, that official said.

Not everyone thinks paying kids to attend school is a good idea.

One former school board member told the paper the plan was "outrageous." He says it sends the wrong message to students and that schools need fundamental changes to keep young people interested.

Supporters point out that other cities have used similar programs.

Camden's mayor hopes to continue the anti-truancy program with other grants so more troubled students can participate, the newspaper says.

Here’s my question to you: Should students be paid to attend school?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Bill in New Mexico:
When only the troublesome students are paid? How is this going to make a student feel that has a good attendance? No, there are 101 things that we should be doing for our public schools. Paying students to attend is action number 102.

Chris in Gilbert, Arizona:
Any reason to get kids in school and staying there isn't a bad one. More specifications need to be put into place for this "reward," a certain GPA, etc.

Cat:
I think we should spend money on implantable birth control so we don't have 12 year olds having babies. Schools are filled with children who have parents that are children.

Grant:
No, we should be fining parents whose children are skipping.

Raffaele on Facebook:
Why don't we just send them a diploma and pay them to stay home for the rest of their lives?

John in New Jersey:
Mr. Cafferty, You would pay $100 to a student from Camden, New Jersey if that student were 100 times more likely than any other school district to land in a corrections institution costing you $45,000 per year... wouldn't you?

D:
Why not? We pay people to not work. Let the kids learn the "handout" routine early in life so they will be better equipped to "milk" the system. The only problem, as we are seeing, is that the cow is going dry. What a country.


Filed under: Education
soundoff (326 Responses)
  1. John G

    Tampa, FL

    No. It's a basic expectation. As is cleaning their rooms and taking out the garbage. Do it and do it well because I feed you, cloth you, and house you. That's your salary.

    August 25, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
  2. Mike

    By whom? All students? Graduate students that are working on basic or applied research that is productive deserve to be paid because they are revenue generators. Underclassmen taking general education classes are not 'creating' anything of value, so in order to pay them we would have to take it from somewhere/someone. Perhaps a better plan would be to help people pay off their existing loans? For example, the near $1 trillion TARP rescue package could have paid of nearly every student loan in America. Where would that money have gone? The banks, effectively saving them by subsidizing individuals. That same dollar amount could have also almost kept every single family that has been foreclosed upon during the last 3 years in their homes.

    Mike CA

    August 25, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
  3. pat in michigan

    Are you kidding me? Who the heck came up with that dum idea.A democrat no doubt.
    There are children in these nations we are bombing that are begging to go to school.Some are being murdered because some jackwagon says a girl cant be allowed to read.
    This all started when some fool said we couldn't spank our kids for not doing what they were told.Pay our kids What a joke!

    August 25, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
  4. Barbara in Sherman Oaks, CA

    Really, Jack? What is the genesis of this question? Usually there appears some commentary from you before your question to we here in reader/watcher land. Should kids get paid to attend school? Given the fact that many public schools are failing because they are in the inner city or in some less-advantaged areas, it seems there is trouble enough for SCHOOLS getting the things they need to provide an education and now someone has thought "oh, let's pay these kids to attend???" It's called a PUBLIC education for a reason, Jack. Students pay (or their parents do) to attend college, which is elective education. For all my wordiness here, I am at a loss. Willing to hazard a guess that it is some school of "soft parenting" that has suggested this course of action...poor babies have to get up every day and go to school, so let's pay them to get an education that we have to have teachers paid to give them? Sign me 'Still shaking my head"...really.

    August 25, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
  5. Mike Kuta

    They already do Jack. They're called college football players.

    Mike Kuta
    Southfield, MI

    August 25, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
  6. Russ in PA

    If their parents want to pay them out of their own pockets, that would be their right to do so. Should us taxpayers do so? Not a chance. Sounds like another attempt at social engineering, when social engineering seems to produce nothing but unintended consequences, and more reliance on a bankrupt government.

    Ron Paul in 2012...

    August 25, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
  7. John in Alabama

    Jack: Going to school is a job that leads to a better job, but being paid to attend school maybe a good idea. I use to pay for good grades for our children, and it seemed to work, or promise a certain activity or event the student wants to do for good grades. No money for just attending school, but a C average should get something, and a B average a liitle more, and so on...
    Some nations pay into a fund while a child attends school which is used later to fund higher education at a university, or technical school, or business school. It is called kinderguild, and is the brain child of Germany. It works most of the time.

    August 25, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
  8. Terrence Cain

    Students shouldn't even have to pay to attend college, Jack. It's the worst thing about society. They want you to go to school as child, but once you graduate high school then you're on your own. Colleges need to be free and a part of the system like all other schooling. I know a lot of people who would love to go to college but can't because they can't afford the debt that's comes with a higher education. That's how it was for me. The only reason I am in college now is because I am unemployed, work is scarce, and Pell Grants are available for me to be able to get the education I wanted ten years ago when I graduated high school but couldn't get because I lived with my parents, who apparently made too much money, which I find hilarious because they never made more than 40,000 a year. If not for Pell Grants I'd be facing mounting debt too. Something has got to change, Jack.

    Terrence Cain
    Big Spring, Texas

    August 25, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
  9. Barbara Leavitt

    How about if these More than 100 CEOs that signed a pledge to not make political donations Donate to help our students go to school?
    Henderson Nevada

    August 25, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
  10. Ken in Victoria BC

    Hello Jack. This is a very, very important question. I note that other countries provide better educatoinal services than that of BC, Canada or the USA.The bigger question is how much taxpayers dollars should be alloted to this service. I trust your readers can answer but I can not. Next question, please and thank you.

    August 25, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
  11. Loren

    We've heard this before, and it is just as stupid now as it was before. Do we pay people to take medicine? Do we pay people to get up in the morning? You don't get paid to take care of yourself and an education is the ultimate in taking care of yourself. Boy, entitlements really take on a life of their own.

    August 25, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
  12. pat, Idaho

    perhaps only if they could keep between 3.5 and 4.0 grade average. It costs a fortune to go to college, maybe this might help.

    August 25, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
  13. Paul, Parry Sound, Ontario

    No, pay the teachers so a quarter of them don't quit in their first few years.

    August 25, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
  14. MNResident

    A related question from the late golfer Bobby Jones–Should a bank robber be paid NOT to rob a bank? Your question is a symbol of how far the US has fallen.....

    August 25, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
  15. Brad, Portland, OR

    No, we don't need to bribe them. They have a free school system that they can avail themselves of, and if they choose not to, they can resign themselves to flipping fast food burgers for the rest of their lives.

    Let them make their choices, but they need to remember that choices have consequences.

    August 25, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
  16. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    The answer to your question is no. The only money that should go into schools should be money to upgrade the classroom and teachers pay, in order to get good qualified teachers that students can learn from.

    August 25, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
  17. Floyd - Crescent City,CA

    I have taught classes in the USA and South America. If a student in South America does not attend class, plays with drugs or just goofs off, they throw him out. If he is really lucky, another school might take him in. Here in the USA, our kids do not know how fortunate they are to get an education. A parent might want to pay their kids to get straight A's, but to pay them to attend is absurd. Most employers will not hire drop outs because our schools are easy. If they wish not attend, grant their wish permanently or give them a tour of a prison.

    August 25, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
  18. Rich McKinney, Texas

    Jack while I would agree that a program like this might generate more revenue for a school system because of the higher attendance rate it does little to assure a good education. Attendance is just part of schooling. What is learned is another. If a student has a bad teacher then their grades will reflect that. If a student has a good teacher their grades will reflect that too. Just because a child attends school does not mean that they learn it simply means they were present. All teachers nor all children are created equal and we all learn at different levels. Rewarding a child with money can also cause resentment if your not one of those children receiving it. Stereotypes are a dangerous thing. Little Johnny must be stupid because he did not get a bonus this quarter. That will really boost little Johnnies self esteem.

    August 25, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
  19. David in Tampa

    Bull, horse and all kinds of rear end stuff. This has got to be one of the dumbest ideas I've ever heard of in my life. No wonder we have such a screwed up value system in the country. The message I get from this: do nothing unless paid, and if not paid enough throw a temper tantrum.

    August 25, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
  20. Holvis

    No way, no way Jose, Jack if school districts start paying students to go to school the education system will get more corrupted. I do think that parents are responsible for sending their kids to school without getting any incentive. It sounds more like adding to our (corrupted) welfare system. I think that New York City is doing it or planning to do it, good luck to NY taxpayers. Free education for all, without incentive to the students. States are responsible to provide education to their citizens but I do not think that they should pay students to go to school.

    August 25, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
  21. Rich McKinney, Texas

    Jack I don't think a child going to school when he/she is sick because they might win an award for good attendance is a good idea. That just makes other kids sick. I also don't personally agree with a rewards system for showing up. I grew up on a reward system for merit. As in life you succeed because of your performance. It should be the same way in school. Yes more kids might attend school and that might raise revenue for a school system but it will do nothing for the learning process. Not all children are created equal Jack and to reward some and not others can create its own problems.

    August 25, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
  22. Rich McKinney, Texas

    What it sounds like to me Jack is that were saying that it is so bad to have to attend school that we must pay students to show up. With any incentive program to properly work over an extended period of time the rewards will have to be increased. It sounds to me like you might be close to violating child labor laws if your having to pay children to work. Will they have to file a W-2 form and file income tax as well? Perhaps the government is going to start them paying into social security at age 5 now.

    August 25, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
  23. Tracy fom Ohio

    You must be kidding! Where are the parents ? If you cannot get your child to attend school on a regular basis, then you DON'T pay them . that is called POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT !!!!!

    August 25, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
  24. Ron

    Not on my dime.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
  25. Alex in Bremerton, WA

    Since the money is coming from the criminal justice system I am definitely OK with it! The city will probably save that much by preventing crimes that would have otherwise been committed by the truants. Just preventing one ER visit to treat an indigent shooting victim would probably pay for the program!

    August 25, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
  26. Mark

    Don't pay them upfront. Reward them at the end of the school year. Being in executive management, I reward my associates in a similar manner each year.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
  27. David R Bebeau,Springfield Missouri

    Jack if you pay a kid to go to school he/she will spoil it for the kids that really try hard.This is the worst idea I have ever heard of..................LIKE""" the worst.Its a cop out on our adult reaponsibility.Once angan just like in Washington DC rewarding bad behavior....................WHY ON EARTH DO WE KEEP DOING THAT WHEN IT HAS NEVER WORKED.
    David

    August 25, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
  28. Denny from Tacoma

    This sounds like another form of discrimination – paying "bad" kids to be good and not paying "good" kids to stay good. This is not far from paying "protection" money.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
  29. Doug

    Seriously, I think the money would be better used to teach the troubled kids how to do something with their hands that would help them make money on their own. A few of them might find out how to do something, and like it and want to learn more. Doug. Pepperell, MA.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
  30. Paul From Austin Texas

    No Jack did you get paid I didn't. It sends the wrong message to pay students to do what they should do on their own. The problems the students seem to be having should be handled by child protection agents not spending money for them to go to school. Something needs to be done but not payment for school attendance.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
  31. Jack in Chicago

    Oh hellno. When those children get out of school and EARN wages, then they can get paid. There is now way we should bribe these little urchins to something that as recently as 50 years ago was unattainable for some. My Granmothe couldn't go toschool because she had to care for her 10 brothers and sisters while my Great-Grandparent went to work. Anyone who would even think of doing this does not belong on any school board.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
  32. Jeff in Virginia

    Why not, we pay their mothers to have them, this has to take the cake. I can't believe that anyone would even suggest this, do we not have any control over our children anymore.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
  33. Jenna Roseville CA

    Should students be paid to attend school?

    In many parts of the world Jack, students are rewarded for their grades with money but I've never heard of being rewarded just to attend.

    Maybe it is less expensive to pay the students to attend than to lose the per student funding that the school district gets per day. Who knows. I say if they are not in school then we should put them behind bars and they can attend there. Freedom verses no freedom might work better than "paying" them to attend.

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    August 25, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
  34. Bill in New Mexico

    When only the troublesome students are paid? How is this going to make a student feel that has a good attendance?

    There might have been a way, but with school buildings in disrepair and with teachers underpaid, it is too little too late.

    No there are a hundred and one things that we should be doing for our public schools. Paying students to attend is action number one hundred and two.

    .

    August 25, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  35. Ron (Denver)

    Absolutely not! The reward for attending school is a good carreer and better life. This is all about federal $$, not the betterment of a child's life later down the road. If someone pays me to be at work, and I don't want to be there, that does not mean I will be a productive member of the organization. Same here – a kid that does not want to be in school should be sent out. Leave school for the kids who really want an education. The world needs ditch diggers and burger flippers.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  36. Bob from Orlando

    Jack,

    I believe it sends the wrong signal. True it would help the student to get nutrition for their stomachs, but aren't teachers suppose to feed the mind. Money can be a great motivator, but not in this case. Students need to get the message that the only way they can better themselves is by attending and LEARNING !!! Attending school is one thing, but motivating them to learn is something else. Teachers are the grand wizards who possess the key to unlock young minds. They need to inspire, to lead, to ensure that school should be the center of the students' universe. Mere attending school is a step in the proper direction, but learning is a lifetime reward that provides the student with the proper tools – a strong foundation – that can be build upon. Just by receiving money for attendence only misses the mark because it only guarantees the student will show up. By being there in school does not guarantee they will learn something. One can only hope. Perhaps what needs to be done is to teach more life skills like personal finance, civics, and reading etc. This would be more apetizing for the student that can be applied later on. When children first begin school, they are directed on what they must do. When one reaches middle school, the student should be able to begin planning their own destiny by informing guidance councelers what they want to achieve. That foundation must consist of reading, writing, and arithmetic but it needs to be taught in an entertaining manner that forever motivates the student to perform. Performance is the key to financial reward.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  37. Grant

    No, we should be fining parents whose children are skipping.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  38. Korny

    Whatever works...

    August 25, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  39. Amanda

    I'm not sure $100 is enough to change behavior. The challenges some of these kids face aren't going to be fixed by $100 that they can easily earn through more lucrative, albeit not as legal, endeavors.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  40. Looker

    I'm in agreement with the school board member who calls this idea "outrageous". Kids needs an education to get anywhere in this world and better teachers and better curricula are the answer.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  41. Alex

    Well Jack, I'd be lying if I said I was all for it, but if this is what it takes to keep the damn dropout rate under control, so be it. Who knows? Maybe it'll teach the kids in Camden that more education=more money...usually.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
  42. Mr. D

    Why not. We pay people to not work. Let the kids learn the "handout" routine early in life so they will be better equiped to "milk" the system. The only problem, as we are seeing, is that the cow is going dry. What a country.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
  43. Run4DaHills

    Ummmm....so they named an anti-truency program the same as rapper, ICE-T???

    August 25, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
  44. Zack (CA)

    No students should not be paid to go to school. Parents should parent their way to achieving education for their children not the government throwing in kickbacks.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
  45. Ed

    Jack, yes of course students should be paid. Let's get off this notion that students should want to learn for the "joy of learning." Learning isn't fun for the majority of students in any event. What the money can be used for is another thing. I would say 80% should be automatically invested in a college/trade school tuition account and could be withdrawn only to pay tuition and related expenses. If the student fails to go to college (community college is ok, but not these fly-by-night for-profit rip-offs) then the money is forfeited back to the funding source.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
  46. someoneelse

    No! No, no, no! No, please... To much reward in our society nowadays and not enough stick.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
  47. doug

    The real question is...why does no one think it's unconscionable that a 9th grader is missing classes cos they're going hungry?? I don't see a problem with paying them the $100 to attend...it's not much money. Surely they could make more off the books at a grocery store or somewhere, though, so there should be some other incentive.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
  48. chuckles

    put them in real work situations like apprentices. that way they are learning, getting paid, and being productive. at the very least you have to admire this idea for at least trying to solve the problems our mediocare educational system. its definately more like a prison than a thought provoking, inspiring enviroment where the teachers can became so concerned with discipline and maintaining control that they are quicker to punish students than teach or help mold them for the future.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
  49. Joe

    I agree that it sends the wrong message to kids. And it doesn't guarantee they'll learn anything. So they attend school just to make the money but goof off, or sit sullenly and inattentive in the back. How about if you have a certain number of absences, you go to reform school for the next term?

    August 25, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  50. Tom in Desoto, TX

    Let them do manual labor for a week and let them know this is what you have to look forward to for the rest of your life in you don't go to school. Have them collect refuse at 6 A.M. when it's cold, dark and snowing, or work at a septic tank company. A week or two of that and school may look like a better alternative.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  51. Ed from Texas

    Students getting paid not to skip school, why not? After all, farmers get paid not to plant crops and Congress gets paid for not doing anything.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  52. Pete in Georgia

    Pay students to attend school ??
    Where do these loony decisions originate ?? This has got to be a joke.............right ?
    Look, American education has already been ruined by the "progressive" crowd. This piece of insanity would just be another nail in the coffin.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
  53. Todd

    Pay them for grades, not for showing up. If they are too foolish or lazy to want to go school when they are kids, let them live on minimum wage for the rest of their lives. I have no sympathy whatsoever for people who opted to not go to school when they were kids.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
  54. Lori - PA

    Jack,

    This sounds like an idea people will take advantage of.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
  55. Jon

    I got a novel idea. Instead of paying them to remain in school, how's about permitting teachers to simply fail them if their grades reveal they haven't met the grade. And after they've been failed, permit them to retake the class, and again, etc., until they either pass it or don't.

    If they don't pass, their transcripts should reflect that and then let them deal with their own shortcomings....as most people have to do anyway.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
  56. alberto

    You can take a horse to college but when he comes out he is still a horse! If those so-called students don't want to be educated then keeping them in or paying them to stay in school does nothing good for anyone. A better idea is to find their aptitudes and train them for work for which they can actually do. Academics are not for everyone. Good blue collar workers are almost always in demand and appreciated. Plumbers, for example are in short supply currently and can easily get jobs.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  57. neal kelley

    thanks the dumbest thing i have ever heard.... what needs to happen is stop offering free education period!!! The problem with free education is simple... ITS FREE. Anything free has no perceived value. Start charging for education from primary school up to high school and i am sure parents will be very serious about what there children is doing in school.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  58. Dennis north carolina

    Children nor parents should not be paid to attend school. the law says that children have to attend school until a certain age which vary in certain states. education is a benefit for the children's future so the law should be enforce and fines be collected.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  59. C Allen

    As a high school teacher, I feel one of the greatest problems for students (even ones in good socio-economic standing) have a hard time seeing education as an incentive. They lack the long-term thinking to understand education's value to the individual in our society. When they don't see their work "paying off" they don't feel it is necessary. If the money is there to do it, I wouldn't mind seeing all students get pay for the work they put in. I honestly think that it would prepare them more for the real-world standard and will replicate the truth of hard work that "pays off".

    – Honolulu, Hawaii

    August 25, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  60. Jeff

    I want back pay...$1200 would come in handy!

    August 25, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  61. Sarah

    No we shouldn't pay students to attend school. At the same time, why not give it a shot? Just doing the same old thing hasn't been working, so it's time to try something else. Like most solutions, though, it won't end up being a one-shot cures all fix. This will work for some students, but backfire with others.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
  62. Tony

    Let them skip and let them fail. If they atleast show up to class then it is different but if you just want to skip school then you need to face the consequences. It's a dog eats dog world my friends.....Let those who want to succeed, succeed.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
  63. notborncynical

    Getting rid of the stupid "no child left behind" law along with the continuous federal testing would go alot farther in keeping kids in school than paying them. Let teachers teach and use their creativity to inspire students instead of having to spend most of their class time preparing for those idiotic tests. As with everything else in our lives the government has way to much control.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
  64. USA69

    Pay to go to school? As my grandpa used to say, "the world needs ditch diggers too". Motivation for my kids was a drive in our car one day, we went to the "rich" side of the town and the oceanside mansions to look at, and then we went to the worst part of town...told them they had a choice in life. Education is the biggest difference between the two sides of town...

    August 25, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
  65. Evelyn Berryhill

    why not, we pay congress to think about us and they do nothing but think about themselves.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
  66. Jesse-Elizabeth, NJ

    This is what the world has come to. Bribing kids to go to school.. How sad!!!

    August 25, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
  67. Trina

    The rules for the grant are ridiculous! How great an impact can you have on the students in the first 30 days? The school system is just looking for a way to blow all the cash! If they don't waste the money, then they can't apply for it next year, to waste it again!

    August 25, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
  68. jeannie loughridge

    i watched a special on camden, nj they need all the help and encouragement they can get. whoever says this is a bad plan probably has enough to eat daily and also a stable home life and community. maybe it wont work but somebody is doing something and sometimes thats all a child needs to have hope is to see that someone is trying. i say right or wrong we all need to do something. hold a telethon on t.v. i would bet alot of people would donate money to help with some sort of program to combat the crumbling of these childrens lives.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  69. steve

    Steve from St Louis

    I don't see any problem with this type of "bribe"!
    It sure works for our politicians so innocent children should be a piece of cake to formulate these young minds of the future!

    August 25, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  70. C Allen

    As a high school teacher, I feel one of the greatest problems for students (even ones in good socio-economic standing) is that they have a hard time seeing education as an incentive. They lack the long-term thinking to understand education's value to the individual in our society. When they don't see their work "paying off" they don't feel it is necessary. If the money is there to do it, I wouldn't mind seeing all students get pay for the work they put in. I honestly think that it would prepare them more for the real-world standard and will replicate the truth of hard work that "pays off".

    – Honolulu, Hawaii

    August 25, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  71. ken

    by the time kids get into high school it is too late to convince them that school is good for them. Truthfully if they see no economic means to which they can aspire (parents out of work, on drugs or in jail) and the only way they think they can make money is by doing illegal activities guess what, they will do the illegal activities. Bottom line is money makes the world go round, this country is pretty racist and classist against the poor and schools are not what they should be. Instead of treating teachers properly the right wing says they are the enemy. Kids are treated like prisoners in alot of inner city schools. Everyone points the blame at everyone else. The parents the teachers, the system. Truth is everyone is to blame including the kids (by the time they are in high school) but moreso the teachers, the parents and the system. Kids stop being cute and turn into mouths to feed and corporate america doesnt want them. So pay kids to stay in school? How about we pay athletes for risking their health to entertain us in high school and college. That seems to be more worthwhile.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  72. y not

    I don't think paying them in September is a good idea, but if you can encourage at-risk Kids to attend school, and try to get them a better life through their education, then it's well worth a hundred bucks a kid.

    Teaches a little real-world to them. You want to get paid, you have to show up first.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  73. Capercorn

    So, do the kids who already obeyed the law regarding school attendance get paid money? That money could be better spent elsewhere, such as improving education for high achieving students, or on coming up with ways to make education less boring.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
  74. brooker in san diego

    Say what???? Pay to go to school??? How about using the money to ship them off to live in the poorest countries in the world for a year to get the most important education there is: to learn how lucky and privileged they are to have been born in the U.S. I got a feeling they'd be glad to "hit the books" when they returned.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
  75. Joe C.

    First reaction is this is stupid. However, the status quo hasn't worked for a long time, so trying something new makes sense. In the cases of those kids going hungry at home - why? Make the parents be responsible or remove them from the homes (anything would be better than living with parents that let their kids starve). Illiterate ninth graders? Teach them to read or they'll have no option but crime. If you're paying them, NO tolerance for lateness, absence, etc., just like a job in the real world. Dock 'em if they screw up. The crux of the problem is students being passed into higher grades when they haven't learned the basics. If you're 14 and still on a first grade reading level, you should be in first grade. Embarrassing, yes. And perhaps the best motivator for kids to learn - nobody likes being thought of as a dummy. But if the shoe fits. . . .

    August 25, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
  76. Barbara

    I thought this was foolish when it was proposed in NY. If the kids aren't motivated to learn something in the first place the money will just assure they show up. That's not enough for them to actually get something worthwhile for the money we spend on the schools let alone the money we pay them to show up. At least the NY program was private money. This one wastes public money.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  77. Arlene

    IIn a fair world, students would attend school for the love of learning; parents would support them with basic needs, caring, and attention and instill values; and neighborhoods would be safe at all hours of the day. Unfortunately we don't live in an ideal world and not every neighborhood is as nice as the next one. Some breadwinners only have the skills necessary to do low-wage jobs and may need their teenage children to help out by getting low-wage jobs of their own; unfortunately this may stunt their potential for higher learning. Or the parents just don't enforce a respect for education and the teenagers don't know any better. You can get a child to tolerate a tetanus shot by giving them a lollipop: you can entice children to attend school by giving them something everybody wants (money), and then teach them that other things are rewarding as well (education). Paying students to stay in school can help preserve their potential for higher education, instill values when they may not be getting them from the ideal source (their parents), and preserve the potential for better opportunities in their future. – Arlene, Doylestown, PA

    August 25, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  78. Michael

    I'm sorry.. sure let us pay the children and bill the parents.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  79. Dave, Orlando, FL

    Any kid stupid enough to not go to school unless paid to do so will not be paying attention anyway. They will be daydreaming about how to spend their $100. It will be throwing good money after bad. I rather hire them to build the prisons in which they will probably end up.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  80. Carrie

    What message does this send to the kids who are NOT paid to attend school? Probably not a very good one.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  81. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    No Jack. The payment is getting a decent education. We can't buy it just like we can't buy peace in other countries even though we spend billions of our tax dollars trying.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  82. Anthony Frascino....Swedesboro, NJ

    Unfortunately, children today are so materialistic and spoiled, incentives are needed to make them do some of the most basic things such as learning. I loved to learn because it set me apart from the rest. Competition was my initiative. Students today see the structured system of education as arcahic and obselete since the invention of the Interenet. The irony is that this exquisite tool for learning has degraded into a vacuous hodgepodge of social networking.
    Schools must adapt and software must be developed to make learning more interesting and socially shared to bring back the competitive nature such as gaming and achievement levels, How about passing through the academic levels until you finally are awarded a Havard degree in cyberspace?

    August 25, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  83. Michael

    No, students should NEVER be paid to go to school. Students in America have a privilege that millions of kids in the world will never have. They throw away this amazing opportunity to better their lives because they're selfish and lazy. We should not have to bribe them to come to school, they need to suck it up and deal with it. School really isn't that hard.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  84. bud rupert, reston, va

    Nothing else seems to work. Give the pilot program a shot Can't do any nore harm then whats been done. It may shock some folk Jack but I don't think our public school system has ever been that great-EVER. The advantage we had over the rest of the world was – no competition – especially after WWII. Well, the rest of the world has caught up and our public eduaction system has been exposed for what it is – HORRIBLE!. On the other hand, our top universities – still the best on the planet – No contest.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  85. Jason

    Great idea. If kids dont want to go to school then lets pay them to attend, And when they become adults and they dont want to work lets pay them them anyway.
    This country is headed in the 3rd world direction, where there are Rich and Poor, and very few in between. As scholar with a degree Social Work, im fed up the laziness of my fellow citizens and think its time to eliminate some welfare.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  86. ivan

    Is this April Fools Day on August 25th? We don't have enough money now and we are giving it to poorly parented brats to get them to sit in a class they probably won't pay attention to anyway? Take the idiot who thought this plan up and hit him / her over the head with a text book, perhaps they will absorb something from it.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  87. bonnie from NJ

    Camden is what they call an "abbott district" in NJ, that the state government has been throwing extra money for years and it has not done one bit of good. The kids in these districts are not getting a better education and who knows where this money is going to. That being said we need to figure out something to get our kids better education in this country, especially in places like Camden, without it they have no chance. Although this seems an a ridiculous idea, if it works, go for it.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  88. The Murgen

    Here is an even better idea:

    1) Create a demanding curriculum with standard tests and strict grading guidelines.
    2) Keep track of attendence.
    3) Give kids an end of year reward based on their attendence and their grades.
    4) Make it significant enough that kids will have something to strive for. For example- if a kid is there every day and gets straight Bs, maybe 2 free movie tickets to a local multiplex each week for the entire summer. If straight As, toss in a popcorn and soda for each visit.

    By providing rewards, you create motivation. By tying the rewards to acedemic acheivement, you encourage learning. By partnering with local businesses, you encourage spending within the community.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  89. Sam

    This seems like a huge waste of money, mainly because these kids clearly don't understand the long term value of an education, and aren't willing to put out the minimum of effort to gain an education (i.e. just showing up). The money would be better spent on scholarships for students that do well in school, but will have a hard time paying for higher education.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  90. Tim

    Students shouldn't be paid to go to school any more than I should be paid to eat, sleep, brush my teeth or go to the bathroom. If they're not smart or disciplined enough to voluntarily do something which benefits them and is essential to getting by in our society, how is giving them $100 going to help? We're just going to be schooling them on taking handouts.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  91. Ralph- Corpus Christi, Texas

    You mean to tell me after many of us already pay property taxes that go to fund public education in school districts, now an additional hundred bucks is necessary to entice some students to get up, go out, and actually get in class? Jack, I work at a University and this is the first week of classes down here and if this is a sign of things to come, what are we to do -hand out $200 bucks to our incoming Freshman? Absurd!
    Ralph- Corpus Christi, Texas

    August 25, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  92. Dale Kerns Jr, Eddystone Pa

    Jack, I cannot beleive it has come to this. Not only should WE not pay them, but WE should not fund their schools. It is bad enough that all education is not in the private sector; but as long as we have public education and these delinquents from areas such as Camden do not want to show up, we should close them down for good. It is a free education provided by tax payers already. If they are too stupid, or busy with their criminal involvements, why should any taxpayer have to be burdened any longer. Instead cut their entitlement programs when they do not show up for school, then you will have full attendance.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  93. Carla Wood

    Students ARE paid to attend school. I consider the wealth of knowledge, skills, and understanding that I received through a public education to be payment in full for the time I might otherwise have spent watching TV, getting into trouble, or taking drugs. What is wrong with our society that this question can even be asked?

    August 25, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  94. Kim

    Disgusting. Paying these kids to do something that is a privilege when so many kids everywhere don't have the opportunity/right to education is just gross. Only in America.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  95. rtbrno65

    Why not? Nothing else has worked to help this problem. It doesn't sound like this will either but might as well give it a shot, at least until it turns out that drugs are being purchased with the money.

    Brian
    Virginia

    August 25, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  96. Daniel

    Sure! And then we can pay them to attend medical appointments, pay them to eat, pay them to wipe after using the toilet. Why not? Why not raise an entire generation of people who have to be paid to do things that are necessary for them to do for their own good?

    I'm a career teacher. This kind of thinking makes me want to quit and become an investment banker.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  97. Lori

    And who will pay this $100 per student fee; the responsible tax payers who already pay school taxes through their property taxes? The same taxpayers that have to pay for their childen to go to college? I think it is a bad idea. It is up to the parents to make sure that their children attend school. Perhaps the parents would want to reward their own children for attending school-

    August 25, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  98. Francis

    Young people are the resource and the future of the society. If we can educate them properly we all gain!

    August 25, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  99. Mysteria Kiito

    I think it's a good idea. Of course I think it should be given only to students who aren't absent a single day. There is no other way to keep kids interested unless the classes get easier, they don't hand out homework, or anything else that pretty much ensures they aren't getting any smarter. Kids avoid school for many reasons: The classes are too hard, bullies, they'd rather sleep in. Fixing those issues would probably be more expensive or impossible to fix.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  100. Charles

    Wow! I simply can not believe what i am reading. Not only are taxpayers paying for their education, now its required to pay the students to learn. I guess this is the end of American as the experts are saying. America will never be on top ever again.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  101. Kenneth

    Of course not! Instead of preventing truancy this ridiculous attempt to reduce could actually create more truancy. A kid that has perfect attendance can be persuaded to skip classes enough to meet the "paid truancy" guidelines just to bring a little more cash into the household. Why go to school willingly when others get paid for what should be unacceptable behavior? Instead of paying the child how about punishing the parent?

    August 25, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  102. Burbank from CA

    Absolutely not! That is bribing them to behave. What new ways will they think of wasting our very hard earned tax money next?

    August 25, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  103. Lisa

    Since when are people paid to take advantage of an opportunity guaranteed to all? Absolutely NO, kids should not be paid to attend school. Parents need to get their butts in gear, step up to the plate and make their kids go to school. We have become a nation not taking responsibility with no consequences. Just take a look at our Congress. Maybe we should fine parents $100 for every day their kids skip school.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
  104. LA Belle

    Jack, we were six childred in my family and discipline was our number one enemy. Whether it was attending school everyday, doing chores, having manners and never talking back to our parents, you knew the consequences of your actions ahead of time.

    Asking for $100 for bad behavior, I shutter to think.

    Lafayette, LA

    August 25, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
  105. M-AZ

    Here we go again throwing money at our failing school system. I agrees with the school board member, our schools need an overall that includes innovative ideas to encourage kids to make education and learning a part of their value system...Giving out $100 bills is NOT the answer.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
  106. JohnKeynes

    Kids who have to be paid to attend school are not the sort of kids that will benefit the class environment. Good riddance, I say. And the $100 to all of the students that would attend class anyway are now being wasted.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
  107. Kel K

    Shouldn't we advocate for common-sense reforms that create life-long purpose for these kids instead? Our canned 'one curriculum fits all' approach is clearly a proven failure. Paying them wouldn't help, but creating career-focused learning that hones and builds upon their individual talents and interests probably would, in my view.

    Kel – Sacramento, CA

    August 25, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
  108. Stephanie Reynolds

    For that area yes...it will not only educate but help stimulate the economy.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
  109. David of Alexandria VA

    Nope. Not unless we want to start bargaining with the Truant Student's Union (AFL-CIO) every year to see how much they are going to demand to attend. Now maybe, just maybe there is efficacy in rewarding students for getting A's. However, paying them to put their butt in a seat is mostly going to get you just that - a butt in a seat.

    I'd use the money to pay off the naitonal debt.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
  110. Heidi

    Unbelievable! Maybe if parents/students had a to pay for everyday and class missed we might be able to fund our schools better and pay teachers what their Bachelor's and Master's are worth.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
  111. D

    Where's the money coming from? There's barely enough money to run the schools and pay the teachers, now we're going to pay the students too? This is ludicrous.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
  112. Jon From Minnesota

    Jack, No they should not. What they should do is allocate money towards making schools somewhere kids actually WANT to go.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  113. Ken

    I don't believe students should be paid for attendance. However, we rewarded our daughters (all three now successful, independent, self-reliant adults) on a performance scale. A = $50, B = $25, C = $0, D = $-35, F = $-75. Their earnings were allowed to be spent on things such as books, music, food, entertainment, clothes etc. on which we had to agree. Our belief was that we should reinforce a work ethic based on achievement and that included risks as early in their life to prepare them for the reality of the same as an adult. There were no punishments other than the loss of earnings and the scale/model encouraged them to seek help at the earliest need. No guilt was applied. It was all "cut and dried" and very business-like.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  114. Nick

    Why should students get paid to do something so many others is so many other countries would consider a privilege? If they don't want an education, fine. They'll work low wage dead end jobs for the rest of their lives. It's their choice. Why pay them when hard working students who faithfully attend get nothing. We don't reward hard work anymore? We reward laziness and ignorance? What's wrong with this picture? This is a ridiculous program that should be scrapped immediately. I think it send the wrong message to students. "Be lazy and unconcerned about your education and future...and we'll pay you!"

    August 25, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  115. Taylor from Richmond, VA

    This is utter absurdity. At a certain point people should be expected to make the right choices in their lives and focus on their future and well-being. This is not some novel expectation for upperclass Americans, this is common sense. If you skip school you know you lose out on education and advancement in society. If that doesn't bother you then fine, skip school and good luck to you. There is literally no reason a school should pay students to attend. Past middle school you are smart enough to know that an education is for your benefit and no one elses. Give the teachers better resources with that money instead so the students who are actually concerned about their future and goals will have a more enriching time while attending classes.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
  116. Jamie

    It is bandaid fix for a bigger problem.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
  117. Scott

    Dumbest thing I ever heard. You are paying kids up front to promise to do something for the rest of the year? I can't even get them to cut the lawn and pay them afterwards. Once the money is spent, good luck upholding the promise.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
  118. Sheila Hartney

    What about all the students who attend school anyway? Maybe better rewards for them would motivate the habitual truants, although I doubt it. What annoys me is that the students who go to school, do their homework, study, get at least adequate grades, are generally ignored. If I were still in school and one of those students I'd figure that I'd be better off becoming a truant and therefore able to get some extra cash, instead of doing all the right things for free.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
  119. Terri

    This is usually pretty controversial because many believe that children shouldn't be paid for something they ought to do. But its good to keep in mind that many families pay young people to do well in school anyway, such as $1 per A on a report card, or even a car upon graduation from high school (admittedly, a less common and more extreme example). The families who are able to incentivize young people to improve educational outcomes likely have higher incomes. Using grant funding to pay young people to attend school is similar to this, its just that the money is coming from a different source than parents. This would also be a great way to teach young people about money, maybe helping them invest their $100 and plan for future expenses. Roland Fryer, researcher at Harvard University, has some great research about incentivizing young people to improve their educational outcomes.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  120. dom625

    You have got to be kidding! What happened to doing things because you were supposed to do them? I went to school because I was expected to. I was never given an option and my parents would have disciplined me had I skipped. I missed a whole five days throughout my four high school years; I did as I was supposed to.

    And now, people actually want to *pay* kids to go to school? Although I feel that most of the hippy-dippy eighties feel-good psychology is garbage, I do agree with the idea of internal motivation. Students need to come to school because they want to learn, not because they can financially gain.

    And even if the program is implemented, absences cannot be addressed on a case-by-case basis. Inability to read has no effect on school attendance; lack of food at home is alleviated by federally-funded, school-provided lunches and breakfasts. This needs to be a blanket policy. I do not see this being a good thing.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  121. Brian from Boston

    Jack, this is quite simply outrageous. Are we also going to pay people to not commit crimes? Why isn't that money being used to pay teachers more? Children today are being coddled by detached parents who view schools as day care providers. My immigrant parents came to America with literally nothing and still managed to be responsible enough to encourage my education.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  122. Mike, Zionsville, Indiana

    The parents should be paid when students graduate school. I don't mean a paltry few hundred dollars, I thnk that about $10,000 for high school graduation will stimulate parents to make sure that their children not just attend school, but do the homework and study. The money could be made up by increasing class sizes and reducing councilors.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
  123. George

    If they have to be paid to go to school they will probably be collecting welfare soon enough. Save the money for when that time comes.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
  124. becky - Las Vegas

    Children should not be paid to go to school but I agree that some major overhaul changes need to be made to the educational system. The teachers need to be free to keep order in their classes without fear of lawsuits or firing. Schools need to be allowed to meter reasonable punishment (including expulsion) and develop methods of learning where the students actually do learn something. Tenure for teachers should be removed. Bad teachers need to go. Good teachers need to be rewarded. I'm not going to say it's going to be easy, but it is necessary.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
  125. RA

    No wonder this country is going down the crapper. When will parental responsibility come into play. Not everyone is meant to go to school because they don't have the aptitude. This is what blue collar jobs are for.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
  126. Scott Jeffers

    You don't need to pay kids to stay in school and go to college. Just bring back the draft. It kept me in school.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
  127. Ashok

    This is missing the point entirely. The fact of the matter is their parents are to blame and there's zero accountability as a parent in school systems. The school should be fining parents whose children don't show up; tax dollars went towards investing in their child, and their child is wasting other peoples' money. Create a consequence for the purse strings of people that don't want to respect the institution of education; not turn what is already a state funded day care into a state funded daycare that pays out 100 dollars for the privilege of attending at others' expense.

    Better yet; simply cut off all unemployment related benefits to people that decided to drop out of highschool – why should a society have to take care of them when they are responsible for their own predicament?

    August 25, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  128. Caral from SoCal

    No, students should not be paid to attend school. Better, have local programs to help these families get on their feet through adult-ed, school breakfast and lunch, job training and job fairs. Paying the student puts disposable cash in the hands of kids who probably have not been taught how to handle money wisely. Many temptations will tug at that money. Instead, as a society let's provide a safety net for the family – and then the student will have a better shot at a decent life, not just an education.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
  129. SC

    They shouldn't be paid. They should be given an incentive to stay in school however. If they drop out before the age of 18 they should have to go directly to army boot camp. They should receive no training with guns and other weapons. But rather the basics of civil engineering, mechanics something that they can use to get a paying job if they choose not to stay in the army. They might just benefit from the structured life style of the military. Those that stay in would benefit the military by getting qualified recruits.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
  130. Lauri

    I would hardly call paying them on September 30 paying them to go to school. If this is a good idea, which I personally don't think it is, the money should either be parceled out every month for the previous month's attendance, or at the end of the year. Perhaps this money would be better spent sending kids for an overnight field trip to jail to see what it's like, or to meet with people struggling on a daily basis because they don't have an education. Off topic, but our schools really need to revamp and recognize that not everyone is cut out to finish high school and that's okay. Maybe we should emulate other school systems where kids are channeled toward vocational programs at a certain age if it's determined that finishing high school and continuing on to college is not a viable/desirable option for those students. We need to start getting creative, but paying kids to attend school is not the solution.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
  131. Sharon in Spring

    Pay them only if you fire them for not attending. School should be a privilege and not a right. When students fail, parents should have to pay for the classes they repeat. We are wasting resources on people who do not value education while there are plenty of young people who do the right things and receive little attention.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
  132. Worried American

    While well intended this seems like they are opening Pandora's Box. Seems that there is a better way to get the kids to go to school – but if they have no desire to learn etc – are they not just tossing good money after bad?
    Going to need another stash of cash for them next month.
    If a like program was used in other cities – what are the results?
    The "special circumstances" escape clause is something that the kids will learn to manipulate.
    Why not consider a program where the parents are fined etc for their kids truancy? If it continues suspend their drivers licenses! Stop their welfare and other programs. They brought these kids into this world – let them participate in raising and educating them.

    TJ Bloomington, MN

    August 25, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
  133. Karl in Flint

    In most cities I would say no, but in Camden, it can have a positive effect. My only change in the program would be instead of $100 up front, basically, I'd give $50 up front and the rest at the end of the first semester. Give it a little more incentive. The schools need improvement, too and not just in Camden but many other ultra-depressed cities.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
  134. Debbie from Florida

    $6600? Might be better spent on a breakfast roundtable program. Fill empty stomachs, fill thirsty minds.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
  135. RickFromDetroit

    It might work, so lets give it a try ! Parents have threatened to withhold their kids allowances if they don't follow a certain standard, so why not do the same with school attendance. If it doesn't work, then scrap the program, we're only out a hundred bucks for every student who does show up for school.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
  136. Cindy

    Should we also pay them to eat?...therefore ending starvation. This is poor reasoning.
    I think the money could have been spent more wisely instead of a default of "just pay the kid".
    There will always be a group of students that won't see the need to be in school. Most however, when given the option of a good teacher and interesting subjects will opt to participate. That's where the money should have been spent. -better classes.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
  137. Ben

    No, students should not be paid to attend school. NOBODY is entitled to an education. We cannot bride students to stay in school. The “hand-holding” in the education system needs to stop. If students choose the supposed “wrong” path and decide to be irresponsible with their schooling, let them face the consequences. Accountability and responsibility are grossly lacking in our contemporary culture and paying students will not help.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
  138. romaine

    I think it will more effective to pay for family support in the beginning – like maternity leave and support for child care so that families have a reasonable chance of bringing up kids that want to go to school.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
  139. William H

    Paying kids to attend school only advances one of the biggest bubbles in america. A college degree is becoming nearly worthless because everyone gets one. If kids don't want to go to school let them drop out and learn a trade. The country needs more carpenters, mechanics, and ditch diggers than it needs people with worthless college degrees.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
  140. Betty

    Pay 'em? Sure, why not. And while you're at it give 'em all the dope they want, an iPod and endless tunes. Really prepare 'em for the future. If this is what US education has come to, I'd say the future literacy and critical thinking skills of its citizens is on the road to perdition.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
  141. Chris from Ohio

    As a recent education grad I saw how bad things can be in schools and paying students just to be in the school will not help at all. They can be there and learn nothing at the same time. If you must pay them and I stress must then link pay not only to just attendance but to behavior and grades.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
  142. Donaldo in ATL

    Are you crazy??

    August 25, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
  143. askiatek2008

    We did it as part of a summer biotechnology high school magnet and had 99 percent attendance. In evaluations, students said it was a significant benefit. In the right circumstances, it is a good way to fill in for benefits students would normally receive from families. It worked for us, because we got the students to do something they would not have done on their own - study stem cells. I would recommend trying it for foster children and in particular neighborhoods where attendance is a problem. When one gets past the subjective issues, it is a good cost-benefit, because for a minimal stipend, one can avoid massive costs from student misbehavior ($1 million per trauma) and for schools, they can make much more in average daily enrollment. We also recommend long-term gains, like scholarship assistance for consistent attendance rather than short-term cash.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
  144. Luswin

    NO WAY. Students in this country, do not realized how important is to get a free* education. The more you give them, the more they don't want them. Teach them to be responsible and to take care of their communities. That's when you "pay them" for keeping their communities free of drugs, trash, vandalism, etc. Reward good behavior.

    They should research how difficult it is for students in third world countries to get an education.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
  145. Fred In LA

    Yet more entitlements at local taxpayers expense. So in order to get more grant money, they need to spend grant money. Where's the brain use in that? Only a liberal democrat could come up with a policy such as that. And you make fun of the Tea Party?

    August 25, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  146. Ann Marie

    What? What? Oh my....I would never hire a kid who was paid to go to school. It creates a really flawed wiring inside of a young mind. What are you going to do for me instead of what can I do for myself. Throw JFK speech out the window because it will teach youth that there is no purpose or ideal worth sacrificing for. Including themselves.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  147. Ryan

    Instead of paying students, how about requiring high school diplomas for people who receive government aid.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  148. edvhou812

    Simple Answer: No. School is about education and teaching kids that pursuing long-term goals often means sacrifice without immediate rewards. Paying students takes from this lesson and hurts them much more than it helps.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  149. Alex Zora

    No way should they pay students to go to school! That's very offensive to those of us who have to work hard to get into private schools and universities. Having attended a private boarding school in the state of Connecticut for high school, followed by attending one of the most expensive private universites, Boston University, my parents and I have spent a lot of money on school. I know that some students don't have the drive to go to school, but in order to fix that situation, start educating the parents and changing the way society views the uneducated and under employed. It should be a societal change, not a bribe!

    August 25, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
  150. Thomas

    It depends upon what problem you are trying to solve, as to whether paying students to attend will work or not. A small amount like that won't make a difference to someone who can go out and make more than that a day. For someone who would only miss a day or two of school, it might convince them not to, so as to not lose the $100 incentive. For students who have extraordinary challenges, it is unlikely they will be solved with a $100 bill.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  151. Mark F

    Richmond, VA

    Not a chance. First, it actually encourages me to skip so I can get into the program myself the next time around. I'm sorry but I had a perfect attendance in high school. Our school offered a program where you got to skip semester tests/finals if you had only one excused absence or less. No money spent and it encouraged you to show up for school.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  152. Noel Sivertson

    Bad idea Jack. The low achievers will hang out for the money.

    That money would be better spent on bonuses for teachers who have the skills to spark interest and motivate students to learn.

    Noel
    New mexico

    August 25, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  153. Walter

    To be honest it really doesn't matter. Kids that just coast through high school (which I'm sure most of these students who are paid will do) have little more chance of success than those who drop out.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  154. Rebecca, a teacher near Ithaca, NY

    Paying students to attend school does send the wrong message about the point and value of education. Moreover, it does not address the underlying reasons why students miss school. It's putting an expensive Bandaid on a problem that needs major surgery to fix (and there are probably dozens of better ways that the district could use that money). It may work in the short-term, but in the long-term it will become just another incentive that isn't enough for students, because what they really need is intrinsic, not extrinsic, motivation. Unfortunately, developing intrinsic motivation is challenging and time-consuming, and it's most likely to occur when the effort begins at home when children are very young. Truancy not a simple problem, so the simple "quick fix" of throwing money at it (as districts do with all complex problems) simply won't work.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
  155. DRC

    Yes. It doesn't make sense to prepare kids to be a part of the workforce by making them go to school "for themselves". Most kids don't understand the incentive of going to school, especially when most of the people they idolize became successful without the aid of schooling, so let's give them one!

    August 25, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
  156. MightyMoo

    I would have loved to have been paid to go to school. Would have let me save up more money for college before I left high school.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  157. wiley freeman

    School attendance & achievement are most closely related to the attitude of the parents. Pay the parents if the students attend & fine them if they don't. AND, allow parents more legal latitude in physical punishment of chronically truant students. If all else fail, give truant student some "tough love" jail time.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  158. Lisa Bloom

    The whole idea is absurd. I can't believe a city would pay kids to attend high school. But in a country that pays terrorists not to shoot them, I guess that's how we roll. This country is getting more stupid by the policy, and folks that back plans like this are setting bad examples.

    Lisa, San Diego

    August 25, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  159. Terry

    The idea of paying kids to excel is ok. THIS plan as bass ackwards. You are paying kids in ADVANCE and only getting a promise in return. The kids are not even required to excel or even try hard, just to show up. Also $100 for a year wont feed a child that is hungry at home, which is a serious underlying issue.

    Many kids face serious problems at home. I say focus 90% of you energy in making sure they are living in a safe and healthy environment. Then use the last 10% as a cash incentive to excel. No child cares or will be helped by how much money you put into the school if they are constantly hungry or neglected.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  160. Rob in NC

    As a teacher of many years, I am concerned because we are rewarding the kids who aren't doing what they are supposed to and ignoring the ones who are. What about the kids that are there working every day? I was also under the impression bribery was illegal, isn't that basically what this is? Rob in NC

    August 25, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  161. Mitoosense Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    Many children have been paid to learn. Lots of kids I went to school with got paid fro each A, B or C I would support paying students to learn. Paying student to attend is as absurd as paying Exxon to look for oil.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  162. wut

    This is idiotic. Use that money for something of better value than $100 for some waste of space kid that doesn't wanna go to school who's just gonna take that money and buy weed. How about school materials? Books? Computers? Building a better library? Waste of money, just figures it's in New Jersey. Way to live up to your reputation NJ.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  163. Chris

    "The money needs to be used by September 30, or Camden won't have a shot at getting the grant next year, according to the Inquirer."

    See how government budgets work?

    August 25, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  164. Brian DC

    It's an absurd idea and feeds the entitlement mentality. And people wonder why many kids are such spoiled brats nowadays.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  165. James

    You've got to be kidding me.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  166. Joseph Di mauro

    Are you crazy?Absolutely not. This is another seriously flawed example of the means trying to justify the ends which in the end will prove to be a total waste of time and money.

    Stamford, Ct.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  167. Chris

    There is so much that is outrageous with this plan it's hard to know where to start! "Paying" students to attend school? My kids have been taught that attending school is their JOB, just like we as parents have our jobs. The article goes on to state "Sixty-six participating students will be paid $100 each on September 30 if they attend most of the anti-truancy sessions and school days" – if the program is supposed to end truancy, shouldn't these students be required to attend ALL sessions and school days in order to be paid?

    Hate to say this, but if a ninth-grader can't read, the school district has bigger problems then just truancy! Will participating in this program put this particular ninth-grader at the same level as his peers? I highly doubt it.

    Throwing money at a probem never solves it. What are you going to tell the students that show up every day? Won't you have to reward them also?

    What happens if the students continue being truant? Do they have to give the money back? Good luck with that one.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  168. Texas Pete

    Schools have done this before and really, the only ones who sign up for the $$$ are the ones who usually don't skip anyways. Just a waste of $$$s.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
  169. Ken Trout

    This is plain stupid! Where are the parents? I wonder who even thought of this idea?

    The kids should be punished if they skip classes and the parents should have to pay. The parents that allow their kids to skip classes should be made to pay some sort of fine. The school should not have to pay to keep kids in school.

    Next thing you know the kids will expect money for anything that they do. WHAT A JOKE!!!

    August 25, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
  170. Deb from Knoxville, TN

    Years go Dolly Parton started a program in Sevierville, TN (her home town) that paid students to graduate from high school. At the beginning of high school students were paired with a study buddy. If the student graduated the student was given money to use for additional education. If the student's study buddy graduated, the amount of money the student received doubled.

    It worked. The distirct used to have one of othe lowest graduation rates in the state. Now 99% of their students graduate from high school.

    Before this, I would have said that paying students to learn was a bad idea. Now I'm not sure. If money can change a community's attitude toward education, maybe it should be tried.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
  171. james from ca

    Have our standards really lowered to the point where we consider full attendance as something so be celebrated and not expected? We shouldn't be paying students for doing something they were already supposed to do anyway.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  172. Lara Sloan

    Parents with money reserves "pay" their children all the time for attending school. There is "SKI WEEK" and cars at graduation and special parties and celebrations and money given for sports activities...but when it comes to parents with children that don't have a lot of money, there is some OUTRAGE that children should be paid to learn...sheesh...stop the hypocrisy. We tell kids ALL THE TIME...stay in school so you can MAKE MONEY...and we make money the focus of their world. So why not give the children financial INCENTIVES for learning; and methods for handling the money received. When they did this in Georgia, they found out that the children were bringing the money home to their parents for food. Stop the hypocrisy and do whatever it takes to help children through school. And stop pretending that we don't know what the alternative is....larger prisons and lots of people making money off the children –grown up - who are not educated.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  173. Bob

    Er, no. How about reduce potential unemployment benefits and SS if you don't attend school.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  174. Wisdom

    Attending public school is a privilege, not a right. Kids who are disruptive should simply be removed so that the kids who are earnestly there for an education don't have to deal with violence and classroom disruptions. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him think.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  175. Dean Workman

    Boy this country sure is turning into a nanny state. It is getting to the point where nobody will do anything for themselves. All they want is handouts and help.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
  176. markus

    Absolutely! And this should be applied retroactively to all living graduates as a reward for going above and beyond.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
  177. Jim

    Not out of my pocket. If American kids feel that they can pass up school and have a grest life, let em. Pleny of Indians and Chinese will take their jobs and be takling care of them later in JAIL. Idiot kids.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
  178. Rob in NC

    I guess we only need them to show up and then everything will be okay. In NC we have been told to teach 21st century curriculum, in which the facts are not important as long as they can work together to find answers when they need them. How did any of us graduate from high school, college, etc. when we were apparently all taught wrong. We are told that every child is going to college...great and what do all of us "smart" people do when we need houses and roads bulit, our plumbing or cars repaired, or our light bulbs changed. (How many geniuses does it take ...) Oh well, the way the economy is going it won't matter soon anyway.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  179. jay1975

    How poor is our parenting skills and our education system when we have to bribe kids to do the right thing? Should we pay kids to go to school? No, of course not. Should we pay our kids to eat healthy as well? How about paying them to do their homeowrk? Where does it end? Man (or woman) up and raise your kids right.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  180. Rich

    So we reward the truant students for doing what they are supposed to do and the good students that don't have to be bribed to show up get nothing. I suppose in some twisted way that makes sense to liberals. Definitely sends the wrong message to the kids. In the 'real world' no employer will pay someone to just show up.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  181. Wise AZ

    Hell NO they shouldn't be paid. Why don't you start charging the parents for their truancies? What the heck has happened to this country?

    August 25, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  182. A. Scot May

    It's just like everything else in this country instead of rewarding the kids that do everything right we choose to reward the kids making bad decisions. I'll be paying for my recent college graduate's education for years to come even as I'm paying for my second child's current college education. I still have one more in high school, and I'll pay for her too. All my kids were/are honors students. Of course, if they had made bad decisions and had gotten pregnant while they were in high school they could have gone to college for free. Maybe I can get my high schooler to start skipping school to help offset the cost of her college! Sick of paying for mine and yours too!

    August 25, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  183. Ramesh Kajaria Marlton, NJ.

    Paying students to attend school?

    It seems public school administrators have lost common sense in this country and are willing to go to any level of insanity to keep kids in school. What a waste of taxpayers' money! The public school system has become a laughing stock and morass. When will the people of 'tax and spend' mentality come to their senses? These are the people who can drive us into a competition with Greece or Spain.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  184. jennha

    Well, no. It's wrong on many levels. First of all, these kids were lucky to have been born in a country in which taxpayers ensure their right to an education. This is not the case in many parts of the world. Paying these individuals to take advantage of such a great service is ridiculous. Also, the non-truant students aren't being paid. What's the message in that? That you get more by doing less? That's certainly what I'm getting out of it as presented. As far as making school more appealing, really... School is supposed to exist for entertainment or for preparation for the working world, which is _not_ designed for one's entertainment? I can also say with certainty that they less one participates in their education, the less entertaining that post-high school is going to be, working hard at low-paying jobs and the like.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  185. Dan K

    No, Jack, Students will learn no responsibility if they are paid to do things they are expected to do free!!!!
    Why not pay me $100 to go to church? Why not pay me my unemployment for NOT looking for a job???
    That is part of our problems today; everyone wants to get paid for doing things they are supposed to do anyhow!!! Thank you Dr. Spock on his wonderful child rearing books that got us off track on raising kids the old fashion way that taught them responsibility!

    Dan K. Owens Cross roads, Alabama

    August 25, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  186. TSM, Minneapolis

    Keep this up Jack and you'll be paying me to read your column.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  187. Nate

    Jack,
    The children have no respect for the parents or self. I think the parents should pay the $100.00, If the skip school any time , the first time $10.00 charge and a plus $10.00 each additional time missed a day. Jack, if they do attend school for this time period are they learning any thing and are they distractions to the other children in that class. They should put them on a bus and bus them to prison for half day, and let the prisoner tell them had a second chance, what they would do with it that second chance. So want skip school, there skipping day in prison. It a perfect attendance record and no $100.00 for 30 – 40 days period.
    That what they need and not a $100.00. show them where are going to be without a education.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  188. CSnord

    Paid to attend school? No. But paid to learn, that might be a different thing. Attendance is the first step in learning, but does not ensure it.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  189. Robert

    Absolutely not. This is merely another entitlement program, a program that will teach teenagers that the government will give them money. If kids are truant, it may be that school is not cut out for them. They may be better off learning a particular trade or skill, and this program does nothing to address the underlining issue that may be causing the truancy.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  190. CRAIG R. MCNEES

    tampa, fl NO. how about enforcing our truancy laws and let the courts dish out some fines and punishment, that's what we pay taxes for. how about anyone skipping school automatically get to go to summer school? skip that, we have a military that can show them the way.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
  191. Backwards

    This is the wrong approach – you don't give money to encourage people to educate themselves, you deny them money unless they educate themselves....it's called merit.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
  192. Ashley

    Students should not be paid to go to school – it is a privilege that should be embraced. Think of how many stories there are in other countries where schooling is not available or certain groups are not allowed to attend classes. Ignorance is certainly not bliss. The $100 to not skip school definitely doesn't ensure that all the students will pay attention or give their best effort, it just means they will be in the chair. While that's certainly the first step, there has to be a better motivational step to help students see why they should be there and why it's a privilege. While I'm not thrilled about paying for my school loans (and all that interest!) every month over the next umpteen years, I am thrilled and very appreciative everyday that I had the opportunity to go to school.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
  193. Chad Johnson

    I'm all for it. $100.00 now VS. a life time of paying for a drop out who ends up in the "system". This $100 may make a future drop out into a CEO of a company. But the right wingers will not look at it that way. They are so closed minded.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  194. DP

    So we are finally out of ideas on how to improve education in this country. All we have left now is the governments solution to everything – just throw money at it. It would probably help if the students saw a definite benefit from their educations. Right now all they have to look forward to is a job at Wall Mart – if they can even land that.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  195. Bob

    Not fair to the good students who attend school...

    August 25, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  196. Dave from pa

    I am totally torn on this issue. I am a post secondary teacher who is appalled by the basic skills of current crop of HS grads. If earning money to attend leads to learning (which I doubt) I am in favor.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  197. Mark

    If a child must be paid to attend school he probably doesn't care about learning in the first place. Just attending school doesn't mean the child will learn. Maybe the money should be tied to some sort of test score as well.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  198. Sandstone.

    "Should Teachers be allowed to attend school? Who should be paid to attend achool? Who pays for the school and the schooling kids get? Who pay's for the building of these schools? Should children be payed to attend schools? No Jack, but they certainly need a helping hand if you want them to attend. Teachers think that all they have to do is turn up, and they get paid, while kids are so disalusioned they often wonder what is the point?? I do have some latter experience Jack, as I used to served so many office machines they've used over the years, and listened to so much back chat both ways!"

    August 25, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  199. No

    No, students should not be paid to attend school. They should pay to go to school. What better incentive do you need to attend school than "You will be able to find work that doesn't involve flipping hamburgers"? There is no excuse for children to skip class and drop out of school. The blame falls squarely on the parents, who should be encouraging their young ones to succeed in life.

    Who on God's green Earth wants to spend their life as an uneducated, unsophisticated, unemployable outcast of society? Or worse, a criminal? I understand why the DCJ is trying to provide incentives to stay in school, as I work for the same type of agency in Oregon. Children who drop out of school are at a high risk for turning to a lifetime of criminality. Without the education and training to get meaningful work, they are tempted to resort to illegal methods to survive. We see it daily, and it is a major problem...we are a country with less than 5% of the world's population, but we currently house 25+% of the world's criminal population. Look up that statistic if you think it's unreal, because I assure you that it is not.

    Parents, do not be afraid to lay down the law with your children. Do not let them run wild. Provide them with as much structure as you can, and stress the importance of a proper education. If you fail to do this, you are most assuredly dooming them to a life that no responsible parent would fathom as a possibility for their kids.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  200. ajks

    What a bunch of baloney! This is my second year in retirement from teaching for 31 years. The main thing wrong with education is that parents do not fulfill their obligations and responsibilities as parents. Charge parents $100 for each day of unexcused absences. That might stop skipping real fast!

    August 25, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  201. Archie in Arkansas

    Let's find yet another way to spend money on something stupid! A NINTH GRADER THAT CAN'T READ! Here's your sign people.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  202. Paul P.

    I don't think its ever a good idea to reward people for not doing something stupid. If you start accepting this philosophy then where do you draw the line? In this case the ends do not justify the means and its yet another veiled subsidy for poor parenting.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  203. Nick, Bronx NY

    I don't think students should be paid to go to school. Here we are obviously talking about youth who live in non-affluent communities. If we have that kind of money to fund student-centered activities, then let's create some effective community-based centers so that young people will have something to plug into that is not street culture oriented, when they are not in school. In the summer, maybe we can create summer job programs for teens. There, they will be able to learn the job culture and what it takes to make their own money. For those detractors who say this will be too expensive, and make government bigger, realize that by following these types of models we will be training future tax payers, rather than future welfare recipients.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  204. Alex in NJ

    No shot. Why should kids who just can't behave in the first place be rewarded? Just another example of Left wing thinking lowering the bar more and more for inner city kids. If they refuse to go to school, stick them in juvenile hall and force them to attend class.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  205. Ed from California

    How about some parental responsibility. Lets fine the parents w/hard money along w/up to and including jail time if their beloved children skips school. And lets put these wonderful children in to a youth boot camp somewhere out in the desert if they think skipping school is a better idea than learning something. But, all this is bad behavior is a systemic cause and effect of our "great" Washington D.C leaders, letting the Lobbyists send our good paying jobs overseas. Jack, do you really need a High School diploma to sell drugs, mow lawns, wash cars, flip burgers, sell electronics? Tell me Jack of some good news on the job front. What employer is hiring in mass that pays a good salary w/benefits? I guess the good news is....our drop-outs can run for public office. As you can see you really don't need smarts to take bribes and accept campaign contributions, do you.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  206. SMC

    Paid for attendance? No. We should make the dependent child tax credit based on grades for school-aged children. A's and B's get 100% of the credit, C's get 50%, and below C gets nothing. If your child isn't passing school, the government should not be subsidizing raising them.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  207. Robert Johnson MN

    Just what we need. First we'll pay them to do what they should be doing anyway. Then, we'll start paying them for doing nothing. Let's get these kids used to their future lives on the dole.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  208. Plexie

    Not the taxpayers responsibility, how about some parental responsibility for a change?

    August 25, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  209. George Gray

    Of course you should pay kids to go to school. Incentives matter. Indeed, you should be paid to go on job interviews. The would be employer gets information, a live performance, a call option; and the interviewee is out the lost opportunity and the out of pocket costs of attendance. Without incentives, individuals will avoid school and "job interviews" like the plagues of Egypt.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  210. EJ in Metro Houston

    makes a lot of sense to me Jack. Pay students to attend school while the GOP wants to cut teachers and put them into the unemployment line. With the way things are going most will not be able to afford to attend college anyway. In this economy I would rather pay the teachers what they are worth.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  211. Veronica McNamara

    Eleanor Roosevelt said "If I could give each child a gift at birth it would be curiosity." It is (initially) the job of parents to foster curiosity in their children. A person devoid of curiosity could attend Harvard and learn nothing. A curious person who reads and questions can educate himself. PAY the oblivious to attend school? NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 25, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  212. Charles

    Jack this is crazy... It is yet another example of exactly what is wrong with our youth today.. You reward young people for going above and beyond, not for doing the things they are supposed to do anyway. This is a lesson my 10 and 7 year old understand just fine already. I can't believe there are people who think pushing the "I deserve something for nothing" agenda is a good idea.

    Charles
    Wake Forest, NC

    August 25, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  213. Josh from Minnesota

    No. It sends the wrong message to students. It teaches them that they can be bought at a certain price. Give them $100 to go to school and the next thing you know, they will be asking for $1000 to go to school.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  214. marlene

    $100.00 is better than a certificate. Especially if it could be tied to the purchase of a home computer, say in partnership with WalMart or similar company. Marlene in Michigan

    August 25, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  215. Wzrd1

    So, Camden schools only have 66 students? Or are they being paid to not screw up, while those who DO obey the law get nothing?
    Great example! OK, if the state of New Jersey pays me $1000, I won't go there and commit a crime.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  216. Nnedi

    Why should kids be paid to get a decent education? If they don't want to go to school, they can drop out, move to Texas, and get a job working at McDonald's.

    Sparks, Nevada

    August 25, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  217. Islam4fools

    Wow just wow! No wonder the next generation is getting stupider and lazier.

    What is next? Pay them $1000 to submit a job application and another $1000 to take a vacation.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  218. Paul

    Paying kids for school !!!!! thats nuts. Whats next paying criminals to not do a crime? Thats stupid.It definitely sends the wrong message to students. As a student myself I am insulted that you would rewards those who dont deserve it but you wont fund a students dream to go to college. It just goes to show that people have lost the way. If you want to punish a student suspend him until he begs to be let back in. And to those 66 students congrats for being the smartest retards of all time. People need to embarass their kids if they act. A spank or a scream is no longer working guys, social status is something these kids hurt for.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  219. Will

    I think students need either an incentive to attend class or a disincentive not to skip. For me, if I missed 10 days in a particular class I wouldn't be eligible to receive credit from that class and would either have to take it again and possibly not graduate on time. It's not a far fetched idea to use money as an incentive, but I think there are other methods that could be utilized that are more creative and less costly such as better parking spots, teachers that better engage students, DJs during the lunch period, and clubs or organizations that get students more involved.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  220. NW

    There is a time and place to get paid to go to school. It's called grad school.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  221. Daniel

    A better use of that money would be figuring out how a student reaches the ninth grade without being able to read. Every person involved in that kid's education should be fired since clearly they did not do their job.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  222. Dan in Aluququerque

    Jack, paying kids to attend school will not make them learn, but maybe will keep them off the street. The only thing that can work is caring people: teachers, counselors. relatives, volunteers, even resonsible peers. Creating a sense of hope. self-worth, and encouragement about their individual abilities (most kids have at least one) and the long term success that can be theirs with an education is the answer. There are no overnight answers, it is difficult and long-term, but how can we do less?

    August 25, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  223. Ken in NC

    Yes. Let their parents pay them what is called "an allowence" or "Pay them no mind".

    August 25, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  224. Rob94hawk

    And the degeneration of America continues.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  225. Ni Soliph, Vancouver

    Hi Jack,
    American Experiment has been built on Entrepreneurship and Education. Apart from the broad social aspects of education, in this century it will be the basis of the American Dream. Unfortunately, over the last century America has lost ground in this vital area of development. There is no silver bullet, that can undo the cultural decay overnight, but there is no question that Education is too important for America to reject any idea that could have, even a marginal improvement. We need to keep trying.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  226. Amanda

    Sure, why not give it a shot? Rewarding people for good behavior usually has good results. I wouldn't come to work if I didn't get paid. Maybe it won't work, but who's to say they shouldn't at least try.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  227. Gigi Oregon

    Why not, look what we pay a troubled congress to show up for work...when they are truant and haven't completed assignments. I wonder if it would work better to charge congress and the students, if they fail to show up and turn in their assignments. I'd lean more to that approach for both Congress and hooligans. We shouldn't pay for bad behavior at any age.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  228. JohnOC

    There have been several studies and paying people to do something is a sure way to make it work. Once the money stops so does the attendance/work. A true story is of a man who was constantly harassed by neighborhood gangs. He told them he would pay them a dollar to harass him, the next week he made it 50 cents than the next 25 cents then the next nothing. The gangs stopped harassing him because they weren't being paid. Kids go to school because they enjoy it, they can see the benefit and/or both. Today's schools are not fun and if you graduate there are no jobs. All the athletics, art and socializing have been taken out. I wouldn't go either.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  229. Robert

    This is the stupidest idea ever. Hell no kids shouldn't be paid to go to school. In effect, they already are, since it doesn't cost them anything to go to school. Their education is their reward, it's up to them to make the most of it or squander it. If kids start getting paid to go to school, then I want to be paid for going to restaurants, or buying clothes. what an irresponsibly stupid idea.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  230. Jyothi, St.Louis,MO

    How can $100 be more motivating to attend school than seeing a consistently high unemployment rates ? If sluggish economy, high competition for available jobs even among highly educated people can't teach a lesson to those students, then a one-time $100 offer can never.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  231. Dave, Texas

    Jack, I'm sorry that just doesn't fly with me. In my day the reward for skipping school was a severe caning. Believe me I didn't play hookey too often!

    August 25, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  232. Patrick

    You shouldn't pay kids to go to school. You should smack them when they fail to do so.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  233. kim smith, Dodge City, Ks.

    Wow! 100 bucks. That'll cover a tank of gas for a trip to the mall. How about we offer them a college education in return for good grades and exceptional attendance. It used to be that self improvement was solid motivation for attending classes. Now I guess its "show me the money".

    August 25, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  234. Zia Bari

    I am from Houston Texas and I think students should be paid and hello world:)

    August 25, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  235. NOT MY CHAIR

    Maybe they should feed those starving kids instead of giving them money to waste on crap? ... first?

    August 25, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  236. Robert

    No, Jack, the public should not pay kids to go to school. Spanking them when they skip class might do wonders though. Or for those older kids cut their allowance and ground them. It is the job of parents to parent. It is not my job to bribe their kids to do what is right. If parents want to pay their kids to go to school, fine. But tax payers should not have to fork money over to kids to bribe them to go to school.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  237. M.R.

    No students should not be paid to go to school. They are already being provided a free education. Is that not payment enough? I would suggest that each school break down what it costs to educate that student. The parents or guardians of the student and the student should be required to sign an acknowledgement indicating that they understand how much money taxpayers are spending to educate the student. Perhaps (thought I doubt it) that will provide some incentive for the students to stay in school and make the most of their education.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  238. matt

    Great. First cut education spending because the GOP doesn't think that public education is worth it. Then spend double the savings to pay for ungrateful kids to attend classes.

    How about putting money into making school and more enjoyable and productive environment with quality surroundings and quality teachers? Yes, there are bad teachers and good teachers. The good ones know how to make learning fun and engaging..and the bad ones, they make school a nightmare – because they hate their jobs.

    So congrats GOP. You managed to save x-dollars, but you are setting up a future with more tax dollar costs because of the potential of more crimes by young folk who did not have good guidance and role models in school. Once again, the Republicans manage to get the world one step closer to Armageddon.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  239. Ken in NC

    I think kids should be rewarded for going to school. Our mother rewarded us by letting us continue to live as long as we went to school and did well and we wanted to do well because we did not want her to go to jail for killing us. You get the idea jack?

    August 25, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  240. Art

    Of course not. Not only does it send the wrong message, you don't pay people to do the right thing. What happens when kids don't want to be there but go just to get the money and they misbehave? Do you kick them out? Do they still get the money? The people who thought this up are morons.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  241. truebob

    It is easy to spout glib responses, but innovative solutions to unorthodox situations can often bring better results than the status quo response. The one size fits all, canned education system fails too many students who have less than the optimal home life. Something needs to be done and whether this works or not, at least they are trying. I know that money motivates me to get out of bed and go to work.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  242. BEHB

    Ridiculous idea. Have the students pay to attend. then they wont take school for granted. the problem with the idea is you are putting a low valuation on education. If a student can make more selling drugs, why show up for the $100. Better to go sell drugs. when the real value of attending is not money but the education to be gained. another silly government idea.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  243. tj Newport, RI

    No! Put more money into education. This should be about learning not about the attendence numbers. It should be about motivating kids to want to learn. This is not about filling chairs and measuring test scores! Teach, don't lecture, encourage research on interesting topics with real world appeal that kids can get into and can see results.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  244. You must be joking

    School is a privilege, not a commodity.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  245. Robert W. Lee

    Sounds like another entitlment. Next we'll pay them to change their underwear!
    Chardon, Oh

    August 25, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  246. ks

    Incentive programs come in many forms... cash may be the best motivator in some cases. Is it really all that different than a party or other incentives? However, it seems that they are not being paid to attend school.. they are being paid to promise not to skip school since they get the money on Sept 30. Will they pay it back if they can't keep the promise?

    August 25, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  247. Judy D

    There are so many things wrong with this its tough to know where to begin!

    1) If a sense of responsibility has to be bought, then what good is an education in the first place?

    2) It appears as if this is being done due to the standard beauracratic: "if you dont spend it, you dont get it next year." Is there a worse way to allocate tax payer dollars?

    3) Even more risky, could this possibly become a core tenent in the "liberal-education complex"? God help us all if liberals point to this as some kind of success.......

    4) The potential for abuse on a grand scale is troubling...... does anyone doubt that this could easily turn into legal voter bribery?

    August 25, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  248. itdoesn'tmatterwhatwethink

    Uh, no.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  249. jay - fairfax VA

    Not the worst idea I have ever heard. If the purpose of schools are to prepare kids to be working adults why not reinforce the fact that good attendance and participaition are required for any career for which you will be paid.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  250. Gerald

    Absolutely not. Buit if you want to pay them for something, how about paying them for not getting involved in hooking other kids on crack or engaging in un-protected sex.

    Gerald from Tampa

    August 25, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  251. 2012 liberal

    Wouldnt happen 2 b same town that got rid of 70 percent of police force would it. Small price 2 pay i suppose if u dont have the force 2 patrol the town of delinquents. Cant get a cop for 100 dollars a year. Lol

    August 25, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  252. Henk

    Yes of course I want to be paid $100 if I promise to attend MOST of the school days. Promise, cross my heart, and all those other bogus promises. Now I can finally buy this video game I want and play it all day when I skip school.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  253. Barry, Dallas, Texas

    Paying anyone to "attend" anything that they are otherwise inclined or motivated to skip will do just that: induce them to attend. Not learn or participate; just attend. If the goal is to meet an artificial quota, then this is probably the most cost-effective solution. But, like other policy decisions of the current century, maybe meeting the quota isn't the problem. Maybe the quota itself is the problem. If the way we deliver education has to change to meet the needs of the current generation, then lets invest in that.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  254. dan

    Jack, NO NO NO. Getting an education is a privelage. Students should embrace the oppurtunity to get a good education. Not just go to get money.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  255. ks

    More concerning to me in this article was the following... "a ninth-grader in the program can't read, and several students go hungry at home." Interesting that one former school board member told the paper the cash payment plan was "outrageous." Passing non-readers into 9th grade is acceptable???

    August 25, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  256. Big Bob

    The kids in Camden will be paid, but they still won't attend school. They are not interested in the least.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  257. Daniel

    Although paying students may seem like more of a bribe than an incentive, I see it as an investment. Unless classes are designed without homework or tests, there's very little change to a curriculum one can make that will effectively make teens more motivated to attend classes. If students see going to class as a daily nuisance as opposed to a paying job then maybe, just maybe, it will encourage attentiveness, and not just attendance.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  258. Jorge

    While I don't know that this program will be very succesful, $100 doesn't seem like all that much, I have little doubt that such a program could work.

    When I was in grade school myself I never skipped classes, but I did take every opportunity to play sick. In fact I usually missed so much school this way that I would get a warning towards the end of the year that one more day and I'd fail the semester, regardless of grades.

    Contrast that with my work history since graduation. In the intervening 13 years I think I might have used a total of two weeks of sick days. Being paid to be at work is a very strong incentive to show up. And most of what I've taken in the last three years has been family related sick leave than personal.

    I don't know how or where you could get the funding for it but I'd wager heavily in favor of significant pay, given out on a periodic set schedule, reducing truancy, and probably excused absences as well.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  259. rad666

    Are they high? I don't think so. So you pay them to show up and that's just what they do, showup and disrupt school for the kids that are there to learn and care about their education. How about rewarding the kids who are doing the right thing and leaving the losers to fend for themselves.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  260. Big Bob

    No! They should be sent to school and assisted by their parents.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  261. patrick

    Jack, Aren't we already paying kids to go to school by giving them a free education...An idea..., what if the government withheld a percentage of a welfare recipient family's monthly check for unexcused absences, and for those not on welfare, a percentage of their family's tax refund, or an added education tax, applying familial pressure in the home. And to take it one step further, give the welfare recipient family a bonus if the collective GPA of the family's school age children is above a B. just a thought.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  262. David

    Outrageous. If someone needs to be "paid" to go to public school, they ain't gonna make it in the real world anyway. Let 'em sink.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  263. Jessica

    No, paying students to attend school is an unsustainable and most likely harmful plan. If school administrators want to motivate more students to have better attendance they should spend their money upgrading facilities and hiring higher quality faculty members. Providing free, good meals and safe transportation to and from school would also help motivate low income students to attend

    August 25, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  264. Thomas

    This is a waste of money. After they receive their $100, what's the incentive for these students to continue to attend school? If I didn't didn't feel that my education was a priority, I'd attend class for 30 days, get my money, and then fade away. -Purcellville, VA

    August 25, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
  265. jane

    No, it is a priveledge to go to school and obtain marketable skills. I understand the desire for society to have an educated poplace but this is the wrong way to do it. Also, if you have a 9th grader who can not read then what is the point of them attending 9th grade. They need to go back to first grade and start from scratch. We need to have a system that requires you attend school unil 17 and then whatever grade you are at is what you are at. If you want to continue then have online learning to get you the degree or the GED.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
  266. AttyBoyAZ

    Truancies in Arizona are considered incorrigible offenses. The State's role in the child's life is minor when compared to minors adjudicated delinquent verses incorrigible. The fact that the State must even get involved in the lives of its private citizens is somewhat reprehensible, but it beats the alternative of taking care of ignorant masses who are disabled only by their lack of education. I find that 50% of the truancies in my community are due to lack of parental support of the children. These kids are not out spraying graffiti and shoplifting. These kids are at home with their parent who lets them watch TV or play video games simply because that parent does not want to deal with taking their kid to school. The gist of my opinion is this: Sometimes people (including kids) need to do something simply for the sake of getting it done. Kids these days feel entitled and adults should make a cognitive effort towards teaching kids to work just for the satisfaction of accomplishing something.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  267. JP

    They should not get any money, fine the parents if they miss school. I don't suppose that any one is checking the immigration status of students who might gat a check.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  268. Jennifer Fleming

    I think the list of the targeted students should earn raffle tickets for a larger grand prize, like $1,000 in the form of a Target gift card – only one winner. 0 truancies = 1 raffle ticket. 1 or more truancies = 0 raffle tickets and mandatory school cleaning time.
    – Jennifer Fleming, Yorba Linda, CA

    August 25, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  269. Kyle

    No, kids should be paid to attend school personally they should be taught that school is something that will help you in the future and that starts at home. The education and push needs to come from the parents and that is where the focus should be. We don't pay college athletes who make universities millions, why should we pay HS kids? It is a right to have education, but it is a right that you should be taught to cherish and value, not expect payment for!

    August 25, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  270. james in greenville nc

    No way. Those who don't want to be in school disrupt those who want to be there.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  271. Peter

    Pay for school? Really? So people are so lazy now that they want grant money to go to school? What happened to old fashioned I want to learn something so I can have a good job and life? Americans are fat, lazy and self loving. Maybe it is time to threaten them with jail if they don't show up at least 80% of the school year. And you wonder why this country falls back against all other countries in every aspect.... May the last intelligent person in this country please turn out the light when they leave. All Hail Jersey Shore.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  272. Michael Carroll Alton Ill

    Only if they pass a drug test first!

    August 25, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
  273. liz

    I agree that paying studetns to attend class is not a good idea, but it may be an idea whose day has come in at least a few choice cases. If paying at-risk student not only keeps them in school learning, but costs less than having them roaming, it's defintitely worth trying.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
  274. Jk from Minnesota

    It's sad to have to resort to cash incentives to get a student not to skip but isn't a totally bad idea. A better approach would be to have the students pay $100 and get it back ONLY if they do not skip school. The funds forfeited can go to covering the cost of the staff who has to monitor truancy.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
  275. Rafael

    It a sad sign of the times when a student has to be PAID to attend a public high school PAID for by their parent's tax dollars. It's bribery pure and simple. How are students supposed to learn anything if they know if they sit and wait long enough they'll get paid?

    August 25, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
  276. G-Man

    We'll pay them to go to school, then we'll pay them NOT to work.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  277. rad666

    Oh and the downward spiral of America continues. Hmm students face "extraordinary things," Then maybe they should go to school and get an education so they can get out of that environment and not have to face those "extraordinary things," You know much like milllions of Americans before them have managed to do

    August 25, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  278. Elgin

    I thought the education system was broke? Every district in the county I live in has a deficit. Where are they getting the money from?

    August 25, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  279. Mark, Oklahoma City

    Jack, We already PAY kids to attend school...FREE breakfast, FREE lunches, school supplies, backpacks, food and everything you can think of the schools are already providing to low income families. What's next? Paying them for breathing?

    August 25, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  280. Jeff In Minnesota

    Bribery is not the answer. If a child is not interested in learning, then no amount of money is going to change that. It's up to personal responsibility and an understanding that learning does not end with a high school diploma or college degree. If you are not learning something new every day, then you are not doing society any favors. If you want to stay ahead of the next economic downturn you need to always be improving and changing your skills. It's the flatfooted that get caught when the economy sours.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  281. Steve

    I think this is RIDICULOUS!!!! Paying kids to just show up? Just imagine what's at the bottom of this slippery slope.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  282. Ralph

    Jack – Thing is nuts, they know nothing! NOTHING!!!

    August 25, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  283. Dore in California

    I've wandered into an asylum and the lunatics have clearly taken over. There aren't enough funds to properly equip a classroom with the basics, yet we're funding bribery to middle-schoolers!! Ok, I give, where's Allen Funt?

    August 25, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  284. John from Cape Coral

    Pay the kids to go to school. What a load of garbage. How about we bring back the ability to spank your kids if they don't listen instead. It will cost less.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  285. Bobby

    The "pay" for students to go to school is to have a successful life, not to purchase another video game or worse, a handgun. Jack, my teachers and parents had a special kind of pay for me to go to school and do well. It was called a big wooden paddle by my teachers and then a belt on my backside by my parents if I skipped school. It worked by the way....very well. My guess is if more teachers and parents used this kind of "pay" today, it would also work well. No Jack, money will not make a difference. It cannot make a child want to go to school.

    Pinson, Alabama

    August 25, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  286. Tom, St. Louis, Mo

    I have a better idea. How about REQUIRING attendance at school in order to receive any kind of government aid? As long as there is a 30% high school drop out rate, we are guaranteed to have at least that many people living in poverty or in minimum wage jobs. It's time for students AND parents to step up to the plate and be responsible for staying in school. Drop out? Fine, but don't expect tax dollars to fund your lifestyle. If kids don't show up, let the parents take the responsibility by being denied government handouts. There should be a social contract between the government and those getting entitlements–you drop out of school, don't ask for a pity party because you can't find a job.Make school more interesting? That will never work–besides, that's not the real world. Part of the learning process is to realize that not everything we do in life is something that we want to do. As long as the government continues to coddle people, there will only be an evergrowing entitlement program.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  287. Diane

    Seems to me, paying truant students to come to school is rewarding them for bad behavior. Better to reward those who are in attendance. Also, how do we know that the $100 given to the 66 students will be spent appropriately? Just what we need, to finance someone's habit or firearms acquisition.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  288. Jamie, Tacoma WA

    So many young people come from broken or impoverished homes or circumstances where education isn't valued, I can see a bonus for performance to encourage discipline and good habits. That means they get the award AFTER they have lived up to an agreement or possibly, some up front for participation with the majority on completion. It should be available to ALL students so that they are in the project together as an exercise in teamwork and peer pressure.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  289. Vinod

    Having come from India where only a privileged bunch of us get to be educated because our parents have to pay tuition for us to go to school, we have learned that 'dropping out of school' is not something that is even up for discussion. It is so ironical to see that with free public schooling in the USA, money has become a motivator to get kids to 'stay' in school, even though they get to attend for free!

    August 25, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  290. cre100382

    Kids should go to school because they want to or their parents want them to, not because they are paid to. If they don't want to get an education then they can go the McDs for the rest of their life.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  291. sharky

    So tax payers will be paying students to go to school, just to sit in class and most likely not pay any attention or not care, or skip out as soon as they possibly can thus making it absolutely pointless to pay students to go to school. Brilliant idea. When school becomes a case of bribery as opposed to a will or want to be educated, you have already lost. The Public School system itself needs massive overhaul more than anything else. Bribery is ultimately not really addressing the issue.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  292. Jennifer (California)

    School is a privilege and a responsibility. It is not, and should not be, the responsibility of the taxpayer (especially those without children) to PAY these kids to go to school.

    The ones who only attend school for the money won't do any better in life. They aren't going to school to be educated. They don't want to learn. And they will simply create distractions that will hinder the serious students from actually learning what they're there to learn.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  293. Stephen Nam

    why do we reinforce negative behavior? how is paying students going to stop them from skipping school? and more importantly, is that what we are teaching young people in school now these days?? this is absurd and terrible education.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  294. John Dockum

    No they should not be paid. Education is their job and their contribution to society. Their parents should get their welfare checks cut if their kids don't attend regularly and get passing grades.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  295. Ralph B

    I think it is a great idea. But people will finds flaws with it because it isn't their idea or it doesn't benefit them.

    And to answer the inevitable question... why should "my" tax dollars go to kids who want to skip school... because we all have a part in making sure the next generation does better then us. And if we stopped bickering and started following that idea this country could be golden again.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  296. JohnRussell

    Paid? Probably not. High School Students, certainly not. I do feel however that college students would benefit from some type of incentive – a small reduction in tuition for example for those who DO go. I mean let's be honest $100 to most high school kids would just materialize a quarter ounce of marijuana or still not be incentive enough. $100 ain't what it used to be.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  297. tom in connecticut

    kind of a sad for government to pay students to atttend school. I doubt the Germans or Japanese have this issue.

    We need P-A-R-E-N-T-I-N-G , ... not more goverment programs.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  298. Unhappy (with my Rep) Fisherville, KY

    Sure, pay them to attend, but base the rate of pay on performance. Maybe we will turn out a group of students who have learned to work. They will be better prepared to solve the difficult problems we are facing in this country. We are having to recruit people from Asia and other parts of the world to handle many of our high tech jobs. I'd like to see American young people be more competitive.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  299. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    $100 is not enough after age 16, when the alternative is paid work. High school should go from grades 8 to 10. After this, students should either start community college or vocational school and be paid the minimum wage to attend, with votech students finding employers or a union to sponsor their training.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  300. Matt

    What a great idea! Next we can take all the repeat offenders in the prison system and pay them if they can stay out of jail for a period of time. This is the type of Liberal thinking that will destroy this country. What do the kids that have been doing good the previous years and showing up when they are suppose to get? just like Chris Rock said, "I hate when people say, "Man, I take care of my kids!"... man you supposed to take care of your kids!"

    August 25, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  301. Brian Anderson

    No. That sets a precedent I fear will be difficult to undo. A student that qualifies for a scholarship is one thing but to literally use money as tool to keep a difficult student in line is the most disturbing proposition I've ever seen. The message being sent it utterly terrifying. I give this idea an F in my personal classroom of ethics.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  302. JohnRussell in FL

    Paid? Probably not. High School Students, certainly not. I do feel however that college students would benefit from some type of incentive – a small reduction in tuition for example for those who DO go. I mean let's be honest $100 to most high school kids would just materialize a quarter ounce of marijuana or still not be incentive enough. $100 ain't what it used to be.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  303. Jeffrey, New Haven

    They're using the wrong approach. That's the "carrot". They need the "stick".

    Rather than paying them $100 dollars to attend, the state should levy a fine on their parent's welfare checks of $20 for every day of school the kids miss with a cap of $200 per month.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  304. doug

    i mean we only pay 10k a year to the schools. 100 dollars is nothing

    August 25, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  305. Tim In Saint Louis

    What sense does it make to pay students to stay in school, when they do get their Degree; they have tens of thousand of dollars in debt for a degree that they can do nothing with, because in this economy, nobody is hiring people with no experience or no previous employment?

    August 25, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  306. Dave

    Generation Y already thinks that they are too good to do even the most basic of jobs out there. Now people want to pay them to go to class. They already broadcast ever inane moment of their days on Facebook and Twitter, which they do in class while they are not learning anyways. Pay the screw ups not to go to class and give the ones that really want to learn a chance to do just that.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  307. MagicB

    No Jack,
    You have it backwards. Their parents should be fined and face possible jail time. Parents need to be held more accountable for their future leaches of america. I'm not buying the whole hardship/poverty thing either. They should have thought about that before reproducing.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  308. Ruth

    No, students should not be paid for attending school. The reward of school attendance is an education that will get you a better job in the future. It's the parents responisibility to motivate their children to want to learn and better themsleves. Paying students to go to school is bribery and sends the wrong message.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  309. Carol

    No. Getting an education is for yourself and no matter the amount of money offered cannot even come close to the self satisfaction of your own accomplishment. Paying students is one more nail in the coffin that our country/society is in a downward spiral.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  310. Jonathon

    Honestly, kids should be paying to go to school. They don't even understand the opportunity that they are given just by the random chance that they were born in the USA. We should not pay our kids to stop them from being failures, that is just postponing the inevitable.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  311. Lee from NY

    Jack, I went to school for 12 grades and never had a problem with truancy. Can I get my 1200 dollars please? I can use it to help pay off some of my college loans. While we are at it, I never killed anyone either, that has to be worth at least 500 bucks right? Or maybe we can just import a few students from 3rd world countries that are dying for a chance at a formal education, since Camden students have decided to throw this privilege away so willfully.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  312. Ralph Spyer

    My god , What ever happen to parental responsibility, If President Obama mother could do , a single mother with a black son that she love. The defects of the children mirror the defects of their parents.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  313. Matt

    I think paying students won't work very well, but paying PARENTS for their child's attendance, behavior, and even performance might. Any teacher will tell you that parent involvement may be the single most important determinant of student achievement. If we can find a way to motivate parents to get and stay involved in their children’s education, our at-risk kids might have a better chance at success. It might also give children some real stake in the financial success of the household, raising their self-worth by placing an actual value to the household on the way they spend their waking hours. This, rather than just money for a new X-Box game.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  314. Larry, Boston, MA

    Sure, why not? Just don't give it away like TARP did with the banks. Set conditions, such as you have to spend the money in your local economy within two months. Could be a win- win.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  315. Dave

    How's this..instead of paying them, they don't get shot. Stay in school or you die. Simple enough.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  316. Samuel

    This decision could ultimately backfire on Camden. There may be an influx of students attending the schools in the area, but that test they've been handed back could be stamped with Cs and Ds. It's also possible that they could purchase illicit drugs, cigarettes and even alcoholic beverages with the money put in their pocket by the school board. This money instead should be put toward increasing the quality-of-education at schools, and perhaps providing free lunches. Those funds could go to helping illiterate ninth-graders or repress hunger among students in the program. It really shouldn't be a "C-Note" that lures kids to attend schools, but rather the education provided to them by the school itself.

    (Toronto, Ontario)

    August 25, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  317. Brian Anderson from Texas

    The short answer is: no. The long answer is: no.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  318. Jill

    Many students who are truant in school, particularly in lower income areas, are truant because they either don't have the means to get to school OR because they are needed in the home. Older kids are free childcare for younger kids while mom and/or dad is at work. High school kids can contribute more to providing food and shelter for their family by going to work at McDonalds than they can by attending class. Not every kid who skips class does so because he or she is lazy – often the child would rather be able to attend school than being forced to take care of the family, but they have no other choice. Providing financial incentive to be in school may help some of these kids get to class. Although I doubt that $100 will make a big difference, unless it is $100 maybe.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  319. Chantel

    As a student, I believe getting paid to go to school would be great. When you think about it, school is like a job for the students, so to get paid would be awesome. Yet at the same time it could be a real bad thing, since kids might start to believe that as long as the go to school, they don't have to put in any extra work, such as getting B's or A's. Then again, a university student being paid to go to school and a high school student being paid is much different since both have different attitudes about school. The university student wants to go to school and the high school student feels they are being forced.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  320. Seyed Fardeen Nezami

    Jack, paying students to go to school is real stupid. I'd rather fall asleep reading books. Cause as a student I would be rather humiliated accepting money to do what I already love. Reading books, learning in school and be a well respected student, I'm proud of what I do in school. I don't want money to do what I must do. If you can make that hundred dollars a year turn into some textbooks, a Kindle or an iPad, I would be more then happy to accept.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  321. dave in nashville

    Charge the parents a hundred bucks if their kid skips school and you'll see real improvement, they've got this incentive way wrong.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  322. Thomas CA

    What? No! The main reason many of these kids skip school and or drop out is because they believe they dont have a future. They believ the conditions they grew up in are the ones they will live in their whole life. Paying them to attend school is not going to change this.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  323. Niklas

    you should pay them for grades not for showing up!

    August 25, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  324. Charles of Oregon

    NO. Should we pay parents to provide a supportive environment for the studying child? Should teachers in inner-city schools receive combat pay? Should we LOWER the pay of politicians who vote for academic & student loan budget cuts?
    The Tea Party wants to eliminate Pell Grants for college students, which certainly would reduce college populations, and ultimately harm our nation– should students' parents file a class-action suit against the Tea Party?

    August 25, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  325. Mike

    This idea is ridiculous. And in the middle of a spending crisis? This is an attempt at treating the symptom instead of treating the cause. Let the parents deal with attendance issues. At the end of the day, these are our tax dollars. If a student truly does not want an eduction, then kick them out. Bar them from participating and move on; there's no sense in letting one bad apple spoil the rest.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  326. Dan

    The parents should be responsible for making sure that their kids go to school and there shouldn't need to be a cash incentive. Though, focusing purely on attendance is also a terrible choice. If there are going to be any cash rewards, it should be based on performance and attendance. Give straight A students $100 and A&B student $50. This is how the real world works when they get out of school. Most jobs don't reward people for just showing up.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:17 pm |