NYC Pays Kids To Go to School

Cash bonuses to poor families for attendance, grades, holding jobs
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 30, 2007 8:17 AM CDT

(Newser) – Forget gold stars: poor New York City kids who attend class regularly or improve grades will get cash rewards. Mayor Michael Bloomberg tells the New York Times the program, which could net a low-income family up to $5,000 a year, is akin to sales bonuses in the private sector.

“Financial incentives will encourage…higher attendance in schools, more parental involvement in education and better career skills,” says the billionaire mayor. In an experiment involving 2,500 randomly selected families, payments will be made bimonthly for meeting any of 20 criteria, including getting a job. Good attendance may be worth $25. A big jump on a standardized test: $300.