Posted By Jason R. Latham, Assistant News Director - bio | email
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -
Faced with a rising truancy problem, administrators at the Delta Academy have taken an unusual and controversial approach to keeping students in the classroom.
They're paying for perfect attendance.
Delta Academy, a charter school, began the program after seeing daily attendance average 85 percent last semester.
"We attempted punitive measures in years previous -- suspensions, detention, truancy letters, threats of fining the parents 100 dollars for educational neglect -- and none of that really worked," said Executive Director Kyle Konold.
Students are paid $10 per week in gift cards to attend class.
In order to ensure students are not just showing up to collect the cards, the school evaluates their grade performance and behavior before distributing the payoff.
Before receiving the money, students are evaluated on not only attendance, but their grades and behavior.
"It's just extra motivation. It's really inspiring that your school cares enough about you to put money aside for doing something you're just expected to do," said sophomore student Christina Roberts.
Konold and his staff set aside about $90,000 from their budget to pay for the gift card program, but the fact that Delta Academy receives taxpayer dollars has drawn criticism.
FOX5 wants to know what you think about the program. Should it be expanded to reduce truancy at other schools?
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