D.C. Students Being Paid to Attend Summer School

Students in the nation’s capital are getting money from the school district to be in school this summer.

Posted: 08/16/2012 11:26 AM EDT

Going to school this summer is a lucrative opportunity for 305 students in Washington, D.C.

Under the Summer Youth Employment Program, the D.C. school district is paying students $5.25 an hour to attend summer school in an effort to help students in jeopardy of not finishing high school in four years.

When District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) initially opened sign-ups for the “Summer Bridge” summer school program, only 95 students signed up. So they recruited students from other agencies, students with poor academic and behavior records.

The school system plans to review this year’s results and possibly expand the program next year.

However, critics of the program question whether it is a good strategy to pay students to go to school.

"How much will we pay going forward, and who will we pay, and what's the cutoff to get paid?" local political consultant Chuck Thies told the Washington Examiner. "It's critical that we get at-risk students and under-performing students and failing students into the program, but I don't think incentivising them with money sends the right message."

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