D.C. Is Literally Bribing Kids To Go To School

Julia Cohen | Contributor

Education officials in Washington, D.C. are incentivizing kids to go to school with the possibility of winning Washington Capitals, Washington Wizards or movie tickets, according to the deputy mayor for education’s Twitter account.

Students will be entered to win tickets if they improve their attendance and sign a pledge to do so, according to the tweet. Currently the interim deputy mayor for education is Ahnna Smith. Although the department’s tweet was published on March 30, it continues to pop up as a sponsored post on Twitter.

Those aren’t the only prizes students can win. As part of the city’s “Every Day Counts!” initiative, the high school with the most improved attendance for the 2017–2018 school year will win a late-night pool party.

The initiative, started in January 2018 by D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, was created after a report revealed that more than one out of every 10 students to graduate from a D.C. public high school missed the majority of days in the academic year. (RELATED: Almost Every Graduate of D.C. High School Was Truant, Yet All Of Them Were Accepted To College)

Apparently, however, the bribes aren’t working. The truancy rate for the 2017–2018 academic year, which is the percentage of students who missed 10 or more school days in the academic year but less than 10 percent of total days, was 23.08 percent, up from 19.67 percent in the 2016–2017 school year as of May 11. Although it’s decreased 1.44 percent year-to-date, the chronic absence rate, or percentage of students who missed 10 percent or more of the school year, remains high at 27.64 percent for the same period.

The D.C. Office of the State Superintendent of Education provided The Daily Caller News Foundation a link to statistics already on a public page, and the deputy mayor for education’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

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