How sad is this?  Public schools in Chicago were having a tough time getting parents to show up at conferences for their children.  So, they've started bribing them with gift cards in an effort to increase attendance.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Walgreen Co. has partnered with 70 schools in the area to provide $25 gift cards to parents. Not for working in the lunchroom or going into the classroom to help the teacher, but rather just for showing up to pick up their child's report card and sitting down with their child's teacher for a conference.

The idea is the brainchild of former Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel - who is now the Mayor of Chicago.

In a press conference, he said: "If you don't come to parent-teacher conference, if you don't come to pick up a report card, our kids are smart. Then, they know there's a gap between a parent and a teacher, a gap between the parent and the principal. We need to close those gaps and have a united front investing in our kids' education."

Sources say that Emanuel thought up the idea during a morning workout.  Seventy schools throughout the city have implemented the plan.