Rachel Cohen wrote in The Intercept that Kipp Adelante, a charter in San Diego, offered cash awards and prizes to parents and teachers who recruit new students for the school. What, no waiting list?

KIPP is not the only charter school that is paying bonuses to help fill their enrollment.

The promotion read:

If you know a 5th grader at another school and you get them to come to school here, you will receive a premium of $500 to offset your child’s educational expenses. In addition, the family you bring to KIPP Adelante will receive a premium of $100 (also for educational expenses) for enrolling their child here. Bring two 5th Graders to the school – get $1000! These students have to attend our school for at least 2 weeks before you can collect your premium

A former KIPP Adelante teacher shared the newsletter with The Intercept, troubled by the ad targeting a school where 99 percent of students enrolled are children of color, and 98 percent qualify for free-and-reduced-price lunch.

That same year, the school offered a smaller cash incentive program to KIPP Adelante employees to help recruit fifth graders. The specific drive to recruit those students can be explained by the school’s unique makeup. In San Diego, elementary schools tend to go through the fifth grade, with middle schools covering the next three grades. But KIPP Adelante enrolls students from grades five to eight, which means enrolling fifth graders typically requires students to leave their elementary schools early.

The KIPP organization denied that such practices were common, but…

KIPP leaders in southern California, though, told The Intercept it is relatively common in their region. “I know that other charter schools do similar things,” said McKeown, the KIPP Adelante principal. “I can’t speak to exactly what they do because I don’t know, but I can say that I know for a fact that other charters in the area do the same thing.”

Allison Ohle, executive director of KIPP San Diego, told The Intercept that “it’s not an uncommon practice” for charter schools to offer these sorts of stipends. Ohle declined to name other schools that offer cash bonuses, but emphasized that the practice is legal.

Too bad that public schools don’t have the money to buy their students back. KIPP has 209 schools and 90,000 students, and the organization is the favorite of the Walton Family Foundation, the Gates Foundation, the Broad Foundation, and dozens more. They are rolling in dough. They can afford to pay for enrollment.