Huntsville City Schools To Offer Students Cash For ACT Success

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Huntsville City School Board members voted unanimously Tuesday night to offer a cash incentive to students who reach the benchmark scores on their ACTs.

It is a move meant to inspire students to apply themselves, while ensuring the district maintains an academic edge in the state.

"The ACT is important. It's important for our kids but they may not all realize it because they're taking it junior year, or some may not think they're going to college or want to have that test under their belt for when they do choose to go to college," explained Superintendent Casey Wardynski.

For every component of the test the students reach a benchmark score on, the school will pay the student $50. If the student achieves an overall score of 22 or higher, they'll get an extra $100.

"They have the opportunity to get $300, but it will not be paid to them 'till they come back for their senior year," said school board member Laurie McCaulley.

Other than having to wait until their senior year to attain the money, there are no restrictions on how that money can be spent.

"Some students are saying it would help them with their senior fees, and mom and dad would like that," said McCaulley.

Dr. Wardynski says Huntsville is in the unique position where they are able to offer this type of monetary incentive. He believes it will add a sense of urgency and immediate reward for students who otherwise wouldn't take the ACT seriously.

And McCaulley believes the benefits would come full circle.

"What parents wouldn't want their children in a school system where the kids are making above the national average and then scholarship opportunities will come in?"

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