If you’re a bad kid with bad grades, then the District of Columbia school system is designed just for you. In total, 305 students are being paid $5.25 an hour to attend the system’s Summer Bridge program, which targets “at risk” youth.
The Washington Examiner reports:
The 95 students who voluntarily signed up for the summer school program will receive half of an elective credit. But to fill the 400-student session with at-risk students, DCPS reached out to the Department of Employment Services. More than 300 students flagged by DCPS and who had signed up for the Summer Youth Employment Program were told that school would be their jobs this summer.
Yes, you heard right. The students who are being paid to be a part of the summer school program were actually drafted. They wanted summer jobs, not summer school, but DCPS used those kids to fill a gap in enrollment. And the 95 students who had already signed up only get credits, while the other students recruited by DCPS get a check.Does that sound fair to you? It seems that the students who voluntarily put education ahead of money are now being punished for that choice.
Some D.C residents have expressed concern over whether paying students to attend school creates an expectation that they will be paid every summer.
At-large Councilman Michael A. Brown said he understands the concern, saying ”That’s a completely legitimate argument,” and ”It is a very, very, extremely justified, debatable issue and I don’t think there’s a right answer.”
Supporters of the Summer Bridge program say that, technically, the program is not summer school because kids aren’t making up tests or bad grades. They are, instead, learning work skills, which makes it perfectly fine for them to be paid.
Do you agree? Should the students be paid to attend the summer program? Will that get students in the habit of being paid for school?