Pay for Grades

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Students in Texas high schools may become direct recipients of federal money under a bill filed this week.

The proposal carried by Democratic state Rep. Joe Deshotel of Beaumont would create a pilot program to give students at low performing schools cash for good grades in core subjects. Funding would come from the $6 million for education the state is expected to get for education.

Deshotel says the dropout rate "is unacceptably high in Texas." He adds that if the cash rewards help to lower that rate, the Legislature could look at expanding the program.

Schools rated academically unacceptable would be selected through a lottery to participate in the pilot. Freshmen could then earn $50 for each A, $35 for each B and $20 for each C in core classes of English, math, science or social studies. They'd get half their money at the end of each grading period and the other half at graduation.

Other pay-for-grades programs are in place in Chicago; Baltimore; New York; Tucson, Ariz.; and Washington, D.C.

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