Paying for an Education, Twice

Feb 15, 2012

Charter Schools, while still a focus of debate in Kentucky, exist just across the river in Ohio.  In an experiment, a charter high school in Cincinnati now pays its students for perfect attendance and good behavior.  The program proved successful on day one.

Last Friday, attendance at Dohn Community High School was at 68 percent. This Monday, attendance jumped to 78 percent.

Davenport: “So it’s kind of almost like, ‘wow! This is magic!’”

Principal Raymone Davenport attributes that 10 percent hike to a new incentive program the school launched on Monday. It pays kids to come to school, on time, for a full week, and to work hard in class.

Davenport: “I’m seeing kids that I haven’t seen probably in a week or two.”

Seniors get a 25-dollar Visa gift card for a week of their best behavior, younger students get ten dollars. Plus, Davenport says every time a student gets paid, the school puts five dollars into a savings account, given to the students when they graduate.

Of course not everyone is as thrilled about the program. Davenport says he has gotten some complaints about paying students for something they should be doing anyway.

“My response to that is that they’re not doing it, so you’ve got to try something.”

The program is paid for by an anonymous donor and a workforce investment grant from Easter Seals.