Ohio Lawmakers Propose Paying Kids To Go To School

(ConservativeJournal.org) – A bill creating a pilot program to pay students who attend their classes more than 90% of the school year in Ohio will study whether such a policy can impact attendance. The $1.5 million program would give families who have a kindergartener or ninth-grader in certain select schools receive a payout of $500 per year per student. Seniors who graduate from the chosen schools would receive $250 with an added bonus of $750 if they maintain a GPA above a 3.0.

The bill is sponsored by Republican Bill Setiz and Democrat Dani Isaacsohn. Both are Ohio state lawmakers from the Cincinnati area. The 2-year program would attempt to discover whether cash payments to families of students who attend schools struggling with extreme absenteeism could result in more regular attendance. If successful, the program could expand across Ohio.

Seitz said that the idea was to pick schools that had the worst problem with students showing up for class to see if cash can help. Absenteeism has caused problems for many schools in Ohio and across the country. The problem has been noticeable in the aftermath of the pandemic, during which many students were forced to attend classes over the internet.

Conservatives critiqued the bill as unnecessary, suggesting that paying people to obey the law or engage in healthy behavior isn’t something the government should be doing.

Almost half of all students in Columbus miss over 10% of their school days. Nationally the problem was analyzed by the New York Times which showed on any given school day around 10% of all students are absent from school. That data came from the 2022-23 school year.

The problem seems to be directly related to the fall-out from pandemic policies which interrupted a generation of children’s education. Many critics of school closures highlighted at the time that there was severe damage being done to the education of our young by school closures and paranoia over a respiratory illness. A major outcome of those policies seems to be that young people and families no longer prioritize school attendance.

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