As for you kids, better bone up on your cheating skills. Because scoring well in school is no longer just the key to a brighter future. It's fast becoming the most dependable route to raking in a few Benjamins.
At first, I thought the plan cooked up by the pinheads who influence the Department of Education was a tasteless joke.
But sadly, the geeks with advanced degrees entrusted with your kids' futures seem to lack a sense of humor.
In what has to be the most insulting, bone-headed plan ever cooked up, the city wants to pay kids just for staying in school. And I thought at least a portion of our students used to study for free.
Kids whose parents chose to (a) stay married or (b) work three jobs aren't eligible for this program, which, so far, will be funded with private donations.
We're not talking chump change. A student could earn $50 just for getting a library card. Two hundred bucks for visiting the doctor. And $600 a pop - up to $3,000 - for passing five Regents exams.
Parents can climb aboard the gravy train, too, raking in dollars just for climbing out of bed and attending parent-teacher conferences, or holding a job.
Make no mistake. This payoff is just for kids living below the poverty line. Middle-class families who want to buy new sneakers or indulge in a cold six-pack on a Saturday night need not apply.
So why should we stop at paying for things like good grades and simple attendance?
Why not add these payoffs to the party?
1. Pay kids for waking up early. Do I hear $20 for each hour of consciousness before noon?
2. Inaugurate the Paris Hilton Dress Code payoff? Do I hear $100 bucks for remembering to wear underwear?
3. We tell kids to say no to drugs. Shouldn't we have to pay them for it? Maybe $25 for passing the marijuana joint untouched. A hundred for skipping cocaine?
And what happens when the money runs out? How will you control thousands of youth, unaccustomed to turning a page for nothing?
This isn't education, New York.
It's a sickness.