11/13/2012 02:44 pm ET

CPS Gift Card Pilot: Parents To Get $25 Reward For Report Card Pickup

Tuesday is report card pickup day at Chicago Public Schools and some area parents will be picking up an extra bonus along with their children's grades.

As part of a pilot program in 70 CPS schools, parents who pick up a child's report card and attend parent-teacher conferences will receive a $25 Walgreens “Balance Rewards” card, The Huffington Post reported in October.

The program has been called a bribe by some and an incentive by others. The Tribune said the pilot "boosted Walgreen Co.'s efforts to expand its new loyalty card program, in the name of encouraging parents to be more involved in Chicago public schools."

Mayor Rahm Emanuel introduced the public-private partnership shortly after suburban-based Walgreens debuted the new rewards card, reports NBC Chicago.

(Read what parent activities CPS has planned on report card pickup day.)

According to the city's press release, the 70 schools chosen for the pilot program "have historically struggled to engage parents." The names of the participating schools were not listed.

While the program for CPS parents is new, this is hardly the first time the city has used gift cards as an incentive for residents.

In June, the Chicago Police Department started accepting guns at churches in exchange for a $100 MasterCard gift card in an effort to keep weapons off the streets.

Last year, 250 students to were the first to sign up for a Walgreens-sponsored health fair nabbed $25 gift cards.

Tuesday is the first day in more than a decade the high school and elementary school report card pickup days have coincided, NBC Chicago reports. This year, the days were synchronized to save on make-up days following the teachers strike in September.



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