A city charter school network abruptly abandoned a recruiting effort today that would have paid families cash rewards for bringing new students to its schools. The retraction happened two and a half hours after Ireported the effort on Twitter earlier today.
The tweet caused a “firestorm,” said Public Prep CEO Ian Rowe, and even prompted a worried call from the Department of Education. ”Given the way it’s been framed and received, we decided to pull it,” he said.
The cash reward was available at two Girls Prep Lower East Side schools, which have vacant seats in their kindergarten through sixth grades. Public Prep promised to give current parents a $100 cash card and a $100 contribution to a college savings plan if they found students to enroll at the schools and stay for at least three months.
Rowe said the program was part of an aggressive recruiting strategy required by the Lower East Side’s competitive school marketplace. Besides attracting students, he said, another goal was to “incentivize ou
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