Schools are working harder to get truants back in school, reports the Christian Science Monitor.
Techniques vary from neighborhood sweeps in Houston to computerized recordkeeping in San Diego. Yet from school to school, one math equation remains the same – more students in class equal more dollars for the district. Where budgets are tight, schools are certain to boost cash flow by filling their empty seats.
Los Angeles Unified will spend as much as $500,000 on its new “Count Me In” campaign, reports the Monitor.
Using a carrot, in addition to the district attorney’s stick for chronic truants, Count Me In could mean students who improve attendance might meet L.A. Clippers players or visit the set of a movie.
I wonder what non-truants get.
Of course, just getting bodies in the building isn’t enough. It helps to persuade students it’s worth their time and effort to pursue an education. That’s a tough job, though.
Under NCLB, schools must test 95 percent of students, so there’s an incentive to get even troublesome students to show up. By high school, the incentive shifts: Transfer the unmotivated students to alternative schools, or let them drop out, and the scores will be higher.