NBCPhiladelphia - Cydney Long
A new truancy program in South Jersey. 70 Camden High School students will receive $100 dollars a week through September to stay in school.
The city of Camden will be paying almost 70 high school students $100 each to go to school in the first three weeks of the year.
Funded by a grant that must be used by Sept. 30, the city is trying to fight truancy with a new program called I Can End Truancy (ICE-T), reports the Inquirer.
To receive the promised $100, each of the 66 targeted students must attend classes as well as conflict-resolution and anger-management workshops until Sept. 30.
Not everyone was happy about the pay-off program at Tuesday night’s school board meeting, according to the Inquirer. Board member Sean Brown voiced his anger that he just learned of the truancy program.
Former board member Jose Delgado said that it was “outrageous” and it sends the wrong message to kids, reports the Inquirer.
The required state minimum attendance rate is 90 percent. Camden made the minimum requirement last year, but it has been below 90 percent in past years, according to Ramona Pearson-Hunter, the district's director of alternative programs.
"We had talked about it [truancy] for a long time," Camden Mayor Dana Redd told the Inquirer. "We wanted to come up with an innovative model."
A student in New Jersey is considered truant is they have 10 or more unexcused absences.