Want to keep kids in school? Give them a car

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LAUSD students. Photo by Prayitno / Flickr/Creative Commons

Two high school seniors each won an $18,000 Chevrolet Sonic for showing up to school on time everyday. Vanessa Umana and Euri Tanaka had perfect attendance. The cars were part of a year-long contest to encourage perfect attendance at Los Angeles Unified schools.

LAUSD has awarded monthly prizes to hundreds of students who never miss a day of school. Rewards donated by local companies included new bikes, Subway gift cards and guest passes to Knott’s Berry Farm and Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. Cash prizes and iPads will also be awarded to campuses and elementary students participated in the program, according to the Los Angeles Daily News.

Student attendance at LAUSD increased last year from the year before, according to a report released by the LAUSD office. On an average school day, 95.7 percent of the District’s K-12 students attended class, four percentage points higher than the year before. The attendance goal is to have every student in school for at least 96 percent of the school year.

Recently, LAUSD has adopted many progressive disciplinary policies. In May, the Los Angeles City Board of Education allowed LAUSD to ban suspensions for what is known as willful defiance, in an effort to keep kids from ultimately dropping out.