AUSTIN (KXAN) - Tuesday morning Eastside Memorial High School hosted an unusual approach to why students should stay in school. Students got to tour the Choice Bus .
It's a school bus that's equipped with a prison cell on the back of it.
"It puts things into perspective and it makes you want to have an education and go to college," explained Lilianna Soto, a freshman at Eastside.
She wants to be a book editor and go to the University of Michigan. "I think I'm lucky because a lot of my friends want to continue their education. I do know a few people who are considering dropping out but I think once they see this bus it's going to change the way they think. "
The Choice Bus travels around the country to give students, teachers and parents an in-depth look into why education is important. The Mattie C. Stewart Foundation puts on the presentation.
"We do discusses choices in depth and on unfortunately negative consequences come form negative choices so it is in the 25 minute presentation going to be at least 50 percent positive as well," explained Chet Pennock, the lead presenter.
State Farm helps foot the bill through a grant so that schools don't have to pay a penny.
"We can bring it cities across Texas here and Austin and let schools experience this interactive tool and let students really see what the choices are all about and how good choices lead to positive consequences and bad choices can sometimes lead to really bad consequences. "
Students sit through a video which showcases testimonials from people who regret dropping out of school and inmates.
According to the Mattie Stewart Foundation, 8 out of 10 dropouts end up in prison.
"We talk to them about graduating and the importance of it all the time but I'm hoping this experience brings it home," explained Principal Bryan Miller. "Seeing a prison cell, seeing what happens if they don't or chose not to finish high school, it has consequences we hope they make the right choice. "
The foundation also says about every 26 seconds a student drops out of school.
State Rep. Mark Strama (D) took a tour of the Choice Bus and spoke with the media on Thursday. He explained how programs like this are important and when KXAN asked him how to continue these programs with the lack of funding, he said he agreed with Judge Dietz in the school finance lawsuit.
"If you meaningfully want them (students) to reach the goal that you the legislature have sent for them it's going to cost more money and the evidence of that is that they're not reaching the goal now," explained Strama from the perspective of Judge Dietz. "So absolutely the number one goal of this legislature should not only be restoring the cuts that the legislature made in the last legislative session, but also achieving what Judge Dietz said we have to do"
The Choice Bus will make its rounds for the next three days at Fulmore Middle School, Stony Point High School in Round Rock, Kealing Middle School. Eastside Memorial High School is also participation gin the 26 Seconds Campaign which is a pledge for students to graduate form high school. Lanier High School, LBJ High School, Regan High School, Crockett High School, and Travis High School are all participating in the program.
County commissioners voted Tuesday to approve the buyout of 23 homes in the Timber Creek neighborhood.
Willie Nelson's nine-hole golf course in Briarcliff is up for sale and the asking price is $3 million, according to a local real estate website.
The lawyer for embattled District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg argued Wednesday that the civil trial aimed at removing her from office should be dismissed.
Pope Francis, the first Jesuit pontiff who won hearts and headlines with his humility and common touch, was named Time magazine's Person of the Year for 2013.
When Dawn Erin decided to seek health coverage for the first time in two decades, she was prepared for the red-tape run-around.
An historic early December cold spell is slowly waning, but temperatures will remain well below average for a couple more days.