In 69% Black Birmingham, AL, The Birmingham City Schools System (88% Black) Is Paying Parents To Ensure Their Kids Go To School...
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Birmingham, Alabama is 69 percent black.

Birmingham City Schools are roughly 88 percent black, 10 percent Hispanic, and 1 percent white. It’s one of the worst school systems in America:

In Birmingham City, 21% of elementary students tested at or above the proficient level for reading, and 6% tested at or above that level for math. Also, 19% of middle school students tested at or above the proficient level for reading, and 4% tested at or above that level for math. And 12% of high school students tested at or above the proficient level for reading, and 5% tested at or above that level for math.

Call the previous paragraph the shot. Here’s your chaser.

Birmingham schools fight absenteeism by paying parents, see huge participation spike,, June 11, 2024

Every Day Counts is an initiative for Birmingham City Schools parents paying them to keep their children in school. It’s available for all parents or guardians living in public housing.

It’s one way to address the chronic absenteeism that BCS is experiencing. Last reported as more than 5% higher than the state average rate.

The program is a random drawing where qualifying households are entered in a drawing for $300 in rent and utility payments supplied by local partners. That’s a difference felt in the communities and the homes of drawing winners.

One drawing winner said, “I got that blessing thanks to my children. It’s very important that they are in school it means something to me that I received that blessing because of them.”

When the program began at the beginning of the year there were only 3 households that qualified for the drawing. Now, as the last drawing of the school year happened there are 196 households that qualify.

That’s an increase of almost 200 households—many of those homes with multiple students that are now in the classroom every day that were not before.

But for the parents that are not motivated by this program or maybe do not live in public housing, there is another option the school district prefers to not have to use… a courtroom.

Dr. Spencer Cook, Chief of Staff Birmingham City Schools said, “Actually going to court that’s a very last resort and one that’s diminishing and we hope at some point just totally goes away because it just won’t be necessary.”

BCS and its partners are planning on bringing Every Day Counts back for the next school year as well as establishing other programs like this to incentivize attendance and turn the tide on chronic absenteeism.

The district believes it’s often a difficult matter for families and prefer a personal or incentivized approach over taking parents to court.

The 98 percent non-white (88 percent black) Birmingham City School system spends just over $12,000/per student. Birmingham Public Housing is, back of the napkin math, probably boasting a racial population of close to 100 percent black. So, we are now paying those black guardians living in public housing money to ensure their black progeny attend school as a way to battle extremely high rates of chronic absenteeism.

Wakanda… Birmingham is not.

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