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.
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.
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?
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.