February 15th, 2012
02:00 PM ET

Charter school pays students to attend

Dohn Community High School, a charter school in Ohio, pays students to attend, CNN affiliate WLWT reported. It helped, at least for the first day: Attendance was at 100%. The money comes from Easter Seals and private donations; seniors get $25 a week and younger kids get $10. Every time students get paid, $5 goes into a savings account they can access when they graduate.

What do you think? Should schools pay students to attend?

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Filed under: Charter schools • Economy • video
soundoff (82 Responses)
  1. lk allstar

    If a student has irresponsible parents that doesn't mean the son/daughter will be irresponsible. Yes it doesn't help to have parents that are like that but it the students choice if he/she wants thier education or not.

    February 29, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
  2. Chester

    Exceptional internet site. Plenty of beneficial details listed here. I'm mailing it to a couple of friends ans also revealing in delicious. Of course, thanks for your sweat!

    February 24, 2012 at 11:13 am |
  3. rosie

    one, who's paying? two, what's the contribution to society school kids are making? three, are the schools really preparing students to make their way in life, is education relevant?
    what values do we need, do we teach, do we demand of students?
    what are our goals, where do we stand, and which direction are we moving in?

    reading all these comments feels like halloween.

    February 22, 2012 at 7:34 am |
  4. Damion G

    I think this an awesome idea but instead deposit the whole amount into an account for higher education. Maybe make this a program for certain schools that a child has to apply to. I know that public schools are given financial support from the government for every child that attends school in some ways and I would like to think that this would motivate children to go to college, trade schools or pursue high education in whatever field it may be. Yes a child “job” is to go to school but it is our jobs and role (and yes I believe government should take an active role in this as well) to make sure that we have educated youth that will contribute to our country and rebuild the image of American youth and education.

    February 21, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • Louie

      Awesome now kids can earn money legally to buy their pot rather than burglarize homes.

      February 21, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
      • Madison

        I'm sorry, but not too many people burglarize homes to smoke weed. They may sell video games or have the money directly handed to them by their parents. Burglarizing homes is more likely of a meth user.

        February 21, 2012 at 11:56 pm |
    • silence

      What makes you think that any kid who has to be paid to go to school is interested in money toward higher education. This country needs to get over the idea that everyone needs to go to college. We need trade schools that are geared toward the 21st century. And if a student is not interested in getting an education, put him out in the fields to work as cheap labor in agriculture. In past generations, kids went to school or went out to work. They didn't go to school as a paying job. What a waste of taxpayers' money. They are paying these loafers when many public schools don't even have the money to pay to fix the leaks in the roofs.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
  5. Meranda Riley

    It's not a very responsible thing to do. Yes, as a student, it'd be awesome, but we shouldn't have to be paid to go to school! It's a waste of money needed for our schools. I mean, yes I wouldn't mind money here and there, but that's what a job's for. Also, I have my parents to help me out when I need money for school or new things needed in my life. I'm tired of schools cutting us students so much slack. That just shows how irresponsible we are. Also they're just bribing us which is pretty much against the law... Just saying...

    February 21, 2012 at 9:42 am |
  6. Ian

    I can tell ya right now that had I been paid to attend High School I would have spent all the money on pot. So while it would be a great thing for me, I doubt that any of these kids are using the money how it was intended.

    February 21, 2012 at 9:18 am |
  7. Paul

    I have a graduate degree, and retired. If I were paid $25 a week that would be an extra $1300 I could spend with my fixed income...and I might be able to relearn all those math things I forgot how to do, but could when I was in High School. Isn't that something to help the economy?

    February 21, 2012 at 12:33 am |
  8. Ohplease

    People ARE already paying for these kids to go to school. Now they have to be paid to go... How about parents learn to do their job or don't have kids! Ridiculous! Right up there with the California idea to open homeless shelters that serve free alcohol to alcoholics! What a low brow cesspool we have become...!

    February 20, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
  9. Ohplease

    I heard this story last week. It is not the first time this has been done, and still I think it is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. Maybe we should pay them to do their homework and for not breaking the law... God forbid we should raise the bar and teach responsibility and integrity. Hearing Chris Rock, "you're supposed to that..." The day we pay anyone to live up to their personal responsibilities is a very sad day indeed!

    February 20, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
  10. Syeda

    As a student I think the idea of getting paid to come to school is a dream come true. Students may get excited of this type of reward and maybe some of them will start paying attention in their classes and therefore get better grades.

    February 19, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • Mikayla from MAMS

      I think that going to school should be a decision that you, yourself make. Only you can choose your own future. The thought of being paid to go to school is like the thought of you staying home and playing video games while being paid. It will all pay off in the end if you stick with Education.

      February 19, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
  11. shamdog6

    It's a charter school, this is probably part of their business plan. If it works, they can show the results and parents will be beating down the doors to bring their school charters to this program. Even if it doesn't work, the kids will beg their parents to let them go to that school so they can get some money. I hope they have some success, but have serious doubts. Might have been better if it was a smaller reward for attendance, but have a second reward tied to performance.

    In the end, those who have no interest in learning will not suddenly become motivated to better themselves. They will likely show up for their paycheck, still not pay attention, and probably become a distraction in the classroom for the students who are actually there to learn.

    February 19, 2012 at 9:16 am |
  12. Hernan

    instead they should charge the student's parents if they are absent ! i bet there will be 100% attendance for more than a day !

    February 19, 2012 at 12:16 am |
    • Court

      Honestly i dont think that is such a good idea. If the parents are forced to pay a fee when their children are absent they will start to send their children to school even when they are legitimately sick. Which would cause illnesses to spread that much more. Believe me, nothing is worse than being forced to attend school when your vision is spinning because your nursing a full blown migraine.

      February 20, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
  13. Chris

    This has got to be one of the WORST ideas I have ever heard. My children understand that going to school every day is their job, just like their father goes to his job every day and I do my job every day. My children also understand it is their responsibilty to do their homework every day and be prepared for school the next day and they are in elementary school. This understanding is preparation for life after graduation, when they and they alone will be responsible for getting to class (college) or work each and every day. The boss will pay you for working, but not to come to work.

    No wonder our country falls further behind every day. We are no longer leading the rest of the world in anything.

    February 18, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • phil

      being that we are so far deep in the education standings list " if it works " than thats a good thing.

      February 18, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
      • Ohplease

        "Then" Phil, "then"!

        February 20, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
      • Ohplease

        Phil, your one sentence statement is the crappiest example of the English language. It is however a perfect example of the murder of the English language and why are in the predicament we are in. Thank you for the illustration, now please go read a book!!!

        February 20, 2012 at 11:11 pm |
  14. Gabby

    I actually think this is a good idea. Students would have to participate in school to get paid equally, as well as showing up to school. School's would have 100% of the students showing up to school and participating to get at least $10 and the $5 that goes into their savings account would help people pay for college. This is a good idea!

    February 18, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
  15. jose gonzalez

    How much will you pay me to actually PAY ATTENTION in class?

    February 18, 2012 at 11:33 am |
  16. Jacob

    I would definantly make sure i went to school if i got paid to. i think it is a clever way to make kids become motivated to come to school. but i dont think it is all that neccessary. i think instead of paying the students they could use this money to reward the students with needed school supplies.

    February 17, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
  17. bob

    My wifes an inner city school teacher and believe me paying em is the only way you're gonna get blacks to attend school on a regular basis. That's not racist people...it's a fact.

    February 17, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
    • David

      It seems you need to go back to school to learn about what the word racist means.

      February 18, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
  18. Jonathan

    I think they desure money because they worked hard.

    February 17, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
  19. jose

    It is great that kids should be getting paid to go to school which leads to their college fund.

    February 17, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
  20. bryan


    February 17, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • Liz

      Wow...I take it you must be back woods country trash from Tenessee to have logic like that? Statistically there is more black on black violence than black on white violence.

      February 17, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • Already

      From what I have seen Bryan, there is more white on black crime living in the area I live in. Leave your ingnorance at your clan meetings. I agree, kids should be paid to go to school. Responsibility is what society is lacking and if this helps motivate these lazy kids, then why not???????????

      February 17, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
      • bob

        You're wrong already....blacks are only 12% of the population yet commit over 50% of all violent crimes...blacks are 9X more likely to attack whites than in the reverse....over 100K white women are raped each by black males and almost zero in the reverse......uh....that makes you an idiot and more than likely black.

        February 17, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
    • Pete

      Thanks Bob and Bryan. Liz is wrong...as most libturds are. Ooh, so sorry CNN?

      February 18, 2012 at 12:52 am |
  21. Ivey Richards

    I don't think so, but most kids need a motivation. But even then students shouldn't have to be piad to do something they're supposed to. If they did most of them would drop out at six-teen.

    February 17, 2012 at 9:55 am |
  22. Gezelle

    I think its good and bad its good because it will encourage them to go school. And its bad because no other school gets paid. Thay will get used geting paid and thats bad. But thay can use the money for college

    February 16, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
  23. Jinnifer

    I think it's a good idea because it will teach them how to become a young adults and take responsibility for their actions at a early age. some kids do not go to college because they do not have enough money so this will help them alot.

    February 16, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
  24. Joe Camel

    Ridiculous. Let them fail.

    February 16, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • Laura

      I agree. Do I think college costs far too much in the United States? Completely. Do I think one should get PAID for granting themselves the power of an education? Absolutely not.

      How ridiculous it seems that as I teacher, I will receive terrible pay for pouring my heart, passion, and labor, and yet students will now be paid for receiving the RIGHT to an education. It is a privilege, not a burden REQUIRING you to be present.

      February 17, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
  25. kert

    I think that it is a bad idea because the students are just going to school to get money. Besides, who can tell if they are even paying attention? When they get to college they won't get paid. Plus more money will be going to the students instead of equipment that the schools need.

    February 16, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
  26. Blake

    This is the most ridiculous idea I believe I have ever heard. I mean, really??? Easter Seals, an organization that raises money for people with REAL disabilities, is donating to this?? These kids are just lazy, not disabled. For those of you who think it is a good idea I ask this, how do you plan on paying for ALL kids to go to school?? Now we are going to give handouts to kids as well...that should teach them a good lesson.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
  27. whynotstartearly

    Considering that most (all) colleges and universities pay for either "good grades" or "high school sports" why not teach responsibility by giving high school students something akin to a scholarship early? To me (a scholoarship-given Doctoral Student) it only makes sense.

    Pay for good grades/attendance early and set the standard.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
  28. Rich

    This is a terrible joke. Our society has officially jumped the shark. We need illegal aliens to do the low paying jobs because we would rather stay on unemployment or welfare instead of actually working, Our engineering and high tech schools are dominated by foreign nations because our best and brightest are too lazy to make the commitment, and now we have to pay our kids to just go to school. Unbelievable. America needs to wake up. We are being passed in the global market.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • Joe Camel

      ABSOLUTELY CORRECT. Even sadder... few of the commenters seem to care.

      February 16, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • Ana

      100 % agree with Rich. Parents- not teachers- also should be carrying the most responsibility for their children's upbringing. Many parents spend less than 15 minutes a day of real communication with kids and most of the talk would involve meaningless comments. Some parents even have mental disorders, some have psychological problems which they pour on children. Also, it's easier to let the kid get his way instead of disciplining every day. Alas, the consequences... No, paying kids to go to school is an exceptionally bad idea.

      February 17, 2012 at 12:11 am |
  29. paul

    Children should not be paid to attend class.
    We often forget how lucky we are to go to school every day while others are forced to work in a mine, for instance, so as they could feed their vital needs.
    In my opinion truancy is disrespectful to all the children who wholeheartedly wish to go to school, and student ought not to be rewarded just because they are assisting class.

    February 16, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • School Is Cool

      I think its ok to pay kids to go to school. It teaches them responsibility. As adults, we get paid for work... why not kids?

      February 16, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  30. tcp

    Is this a publicly funded school?

    February 16, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • tcp

      Nevermind. Just looked it up. How on EARTH do they justify paying these students and NOT paying EVERY other student in the state's system? This is WRONG! I would be up on someone's desk for sure!

      February 16, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
  31. Spencer

    i think Its a good and a bad thing because when you go to college and go to class you want get paid just for doing those few thigs.The good thing about it is that you will get paid and get a saveings acount for college to help you out with morgage durring college.

    February 16, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • justme75

      I really don't think that $720 is going to help out with college or mortgages... "$5" a week into savings and a typical school year is 36 weeks...which even if the student went for four years that only equals $720...just thought I'd point that out

      February 16, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  32. James

    I think this is a bad idea because they might just come to school for the money. At the same time i think its a good idea because they are putting 5 dollars towards there coolege money.

    February 16, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
  33. David

    It good that more student will strt to go to school more, thats a start. now all we need to do is encourage them to do good. But other than that its a very good idea

    February 16, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
  34. Arionne

    I think that they shouldn't get paid to go to school because it should be something they want to do. If they don't then so be it. Why should anyone force somebody to get an education. No Education = No Good Job When it's time to get paid is when you earn it. Money is not free.

    February 16, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • Carisa

      Good Job Daughter I Really Think U Are So True On That Opinion I Am Glad That You Are Focus On Your School IN Do Your Work So That U Wouldn't Have To Worry About Hard Things That Come Your Way In Life ..Because Your getting Your Education In Working Hard Turning Out To Be An Intelligent Young Lady.. Especially Why Education is FREE !! MAKE A CHANGE BABY

      February 16, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
  35. native born

    The idea is sound however, in the long run, this wont be effective, or at least it won't be in my opinion. i recently (within the past three years) graduated high school with a 4.0 and i worked very hard for that. I went ever day and studied my hind end off. And i didn't get paid for it... However if this were to be implicated to more of a complete savings plan i feel that it would be more effective. It would also be a huge insintive for students to graduate, and upon graduation, get the lump sum of it and have it put directly into college funds. If a students decides not to graduate then he/she forfits the money and that should go to a scholarship for those deserving. Now i understand my thoughts may be flawed to some degree but I feel that this would be a more effective method of payment to students.

    February 16, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • jeff

      excellent ideas

      February 16, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
  36. Erin

    The charter school has the right idea in trying to think up a way to handle their truency issues. While it may not be a perfect plan, it would be advantageous to see how effective it is. Those who claim that paying students to attend class and do their work forget that this system is also seen in a situation every teacher hopes their student to be in: a job. Can you really argue that to do well in school is not a full-time job in and of itself? You would find it hard to encourage students to learn when most don't see the long-term goals when they receive no reward for their efforts. While paying kids may not solve every issues schools face today, if it's an effective method, why not try and do it?

    February 16, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • tcp

      Yes, Erin, I can argue that going to school is NOT a full time job. It is a program designed to prepare you (at NO cost) for your adult life and to give you the skills you need (for FREE) to succeed in life. I find this program appalling but predictable.

      February 16, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
  37. John Dewey

    Paying kids to go to school is not the point of American Education. If I were alive today I would be tearing my hair out for all that Horace Mann and myself worked for. We need to address the real problems with schools before we trying some "gimmick" to get the students to attend.

    February 16, 2012 at 8:36 am |
    • Alex

      I agree its high school...i am from ukraine and moved here when to the state when I was 5, I hear stories about the education system back there and it makes sense and then i listen to George Carlin and he makes sense too. People should have to go to school, this is on the parents not the schools problem. Parents need to be involved more A LOT MORE and please stop blaming the teachers they can't be to blame for children not showing up. Challenge kids more at younger ages, and if someone isn't doing well don't just lower the standard help that person learn. I am all for keeping self esteem up but its real life and your not always going to be a winner.

      February 16, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
  38. Jamie

    After reading some of the comments left on this page, the spelling and grammatical errors are indicative of society today. It's hard to read some of the posts left here. Laziness...that's all it is. Paying kids to do the right thing, how will they learn the lesson of a good hard days work?

    February 16, 2012 at 8:17 am |
    • Akira

      Well, I think there are some people here who aren't from English speaking country, including me. So please be patient with a few of gramatical mistakes!

      February 16, 2012 at 8:39 am |
  39. jerry

    poor choice, unless the funds are to be used for edu purposes (college or trade school)

    February 16, 2012 at 8:16 am |
  40. GO

    i think paying students is no good idea. this policy can stop student from not taking class in short period. but it's not the main solution. we need to think about the reason why student don't go to their school. cause the motivation comes from the atmostphere surrounding students.

    February 15, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
    • Richard

      i think paying students is no good idea. this policy can stop student from not taking class in short period. but it's not the main solution. we need to think about the reason why student don't go to their school. cause the motivation comes from the atmostphere surrounding students.

      i had a mistake to write my name^^

      February 15, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
      • jeff

        Agreed. Public education should be the vanguard. Schools should be palaces, with top pay for the best teachers. But no. We decide, instead to pay athletes and pop stars millions/billions of dollars to entertain us. So sad. Be an example to others and reward education of the the arts and sciences.

        February 16, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
  41. Jose

    It's unwise for the school to pay students to go to school when thier supposed to. If the kids want to ruin thier future, they shouldn't get paid not to.

    February 15, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
  42. Cassidy

    I think children getting paid to go to school is unreasonable. If children don't attend school, it's their fault. Kids will not be recieving the education they need and/or desire, but that's their faults. People cannot afford to pay children to go to school anyways. The economy is already bad enough.

    February 15, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • jeff

      One correction – at a certain age, yes, it is their vault. But ultimately it is the parent's fault. If the parent sucks at being responsible adults, their children will too.

      February 16, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
  43. Travii

    I don't think it's the best idea. If kids start getting paid to go to school, this might make them lazy. I belive that instead of a reward for being at school, there should be a penalty for not being there. This would also cut down the schools budget, therefore giving the students at that school an inferior education.

    February 15, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
    • Joey

      I think that getting paid to go to school is wrong because look that school is loosing money. Personally I think that should be against the law. Many parents will most likely take the money away.

      February 16, 2012 at 12:45 am |
    • choppertrash

      News Flash!! Most of them are lazy already...

      February 16, 2012 at 8:37 am |
  44. Garrett

    That's cool and all, but school gives you an education to get a career. School is not a profession.

    February 15, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
  45. Akira

    It might be a good idea to have truants attend class for a certain period. But in the long run, when they graduate and find they don't get paid for studying in University, the result would be disastrous. They would find no reason to study. Money should not be their motivation to study.

    February 15, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • jeff


      February 16, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
  46. matt

    that sweet!

    February 15, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
  47. Aaron

    You couldn't pay me enough to go to high school.

    February 15, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
  48. dudley0415

    Do they take the payments directly out of the school's budget, or is it a different line item?

    February 15, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • native born

      (respectfully) the article says is comes from private donations and other sources so no i don't think the school's budget makes up for this.

      February 16, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
  49. aflarend

    I doubt there will be any follow up story in 2 months when student decide that $5/day is not enough on some days.

    February 15, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • jeff

      bravo. You hit the nail on the head. Nor does it combat the real problem that if the student has awful and irresponsible parents, then they too will be irresponsible. Paying students to go to school is not going to break the cycle.

      February 16, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • layne a

      it does set a precedent.

      February 19, 2012 at 12:54 am |