by Ed Tribble
Arizona high school students will soon be cashing in for hitting the books.
A new pilot program promises to pay them to stay in school.
More than 20,000 Arizona teens dropped out of the class of 2006.
To fight the problem, 75 students from low income families at Amphi High and 100 from Rincon High in Tucson were picked for the new program.
The students will get $25 a week as an incentive to stay in school.
A local nonprofit will pay for the project.
To get the money, the kids have to stay out of trouble and keep their grades up, kids like Cassandra Hardin.
"I can get money for doing what I'm already doing," she said.
Hardin was hand picked to be part of this pilot project, and says the money will make a difference to her future.
"You're getting paid to listen to a teacher tell you things you might need later," said student Travis Jager.
He said it's an incentive to stay in school.
He plans on hitting the books to keep his grades up.
"I'll focus on my studies and help out around the house," he added.
The idea of being paid to stay in school bodes well for Dylan Ebright.
He dropped out a few years ago and now fixes electronics.
Even though he got his GED, he wishes he'd stayed in school.