As head of the Associated Student Body at Grossmont High School in California, Jeff Meredith has cashed bad checks intended to pay for everything from students' registration fees to yearbooks and gym lockers. Now, whenever parents or students walk into the building with their checkbooks drawn, he refers them to the school's automated teller machine (ATM).

Tired of cutting student programs to cover the cost of bounced checks, Meredith copied a phone number off the cash dispenser inside his local 7-Eleven and placed a call. Weeks later, Grossmont became one of the first high schools...

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