Fall School Count Day Arrives

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It's important to get the kids out the door and on time for school this morning it's count day. 90% of funding for Michigan schools will be determined by today's attendance numbers. Districts get a minimum of $7,026 for each student, and for schools with budget deficits, this count is crucial. To make sure each student is in class to be counted today, some districts around the state are offering all sorts of incentives. The cash-strapped Detroit public school system is serving up a special barbecue chicken lunch, with peach cobbler for dessert-- prizes for students also include I-pads, gift cards and new bikes. In the past, the Lansing School District has also offered incentives like free popcorn or raffle prizes and back pack giveaways. Hunt Elementary in Jackson schedules picture day on count day. If students are absent today, they can still be counted for up to 30 days. If they have an excused absence, the exact numbers from today's count won't be known for a few weeks. It will give educators a clearer picture of where they stand financially for the rest of the school year, and whether they need to make deeper cuts. The second count day is in February and is worth 10%.