Cash for class? Lawmakers consider paying some kids to go to school in Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW) – Ohio lawmakers are considering legislation that would provide some students and families money for going to school.

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State Rep. Bill Seitz (R-District 30) and state Rep. Dani Isaacsohn (D-District 24) introduced the bill.

House Bill 348 would establish a pilot program to increase student attendance and graduation rates through financial incentives.

It’s being suggested for kindergarteners and ninth-grade students for fiscal years 2024 and 2025.

Here are the incentive options spelled out in the bill:

  • Cash transfers of $25 made biweekly during the school year for students with an attendance rate of 90% or higher

  • Cash transfers of $150 at the end of each quarter of the school year to participating ninth-grade students and the parents or guardians of participating kindergarten students with an attendance rate of 90% or higher for that quarter

  • One cash transfer of $500 at the end of the school year to participating ninth-grade students and the parents or guardians of participating kindergarten students with an attendance rate of 90% or higher for that school year.

Schools would have to apply for the program, and then decide which payment option they think would be most effective. All participating schools must have chronic absenteeism.

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If approved, half of the kindergarten and ninth-grade students at the chosen schools would be randomly selected to receive the incentives, while the other half would serve as a control group.

The bill is currently in a house committee.

Read the bill’s full text here.

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