North Texas

DFW School District Paying up for Students in AP Classes

A North Texas school district is shelling out money to a group of students.

It's part of a unique set of incentives at Cedar Hill High School to lure students into taking Advanced Placement classes and part of a bigger effort to help close the achievement gap.

"Definitely makes me study harder for these tests," said student Adrian Sanchez.

Sanchez has a big prize on his mind.

"I'm trying to get $500. I don't know about you but money doesn't grow on trees and somebody has to pay for Chick-Fil-A," said Sanchez.

The money will be given depending on his score on AP exams. If students score a 3 on a test, they'll receive $300. Score a 4, and they'll get $400. Score a 5, which is the highest grade that also earns college credit, and they'll receive $500.

It's money that is coming from school leaders.

"So you guys are ready to shell out this money?," asked NBC 5 Reporter Maria Guerrero.

"Yeah. We're ready. If the students are ready we're ready," said Dean of Instruction, Dr. Deidrea Stevens.

The school district adds this is also an effort to further close the achievement gap between white students and minorities. Even at this heavily minority campus where 58 percent of African Americans and 23 percent of Latinos are already AP students.

"The intentions behind making sure that our students are involved was to make sure that at least your family is aware that the opportunity does exist and that you can take part in it," said Dr. Stevens

Viviana Luevano Gomez is taking two more exams before graduating.

"I'm really hoping for a four with that would be a total of $800 that's pretty good," said Gomez.

The first checks will be sent out this summer.

Cedar Hill High School AP students used to have to pay in order to take their AP exams. Starting this school year, the district is picking up the tab.

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