Critical Student Count Day Leading Some to Get Creative
It is the all important Student Count Day. School districts across the state count on students being in the classroom today for state aid payments. And for some, it won't be an easy task getting them there.
25% of state funding comes from the numbers recorded on this date. The rest--a full 75%--come from a day near the start of the school year. The percentages were changed recently from a 90%-10% split to guard against too many students not being enrolled at the crucial funding period. The fall, though, is still the more important attendance date to determine just how much money will be allocated to each K-12 district.
Attendance is so crucial on days like this that districts have been reduced to offering incentives to get students into the building to be counted. Some districts, especially in areas hit by high truancy rates, even offer rides to make sure kids make it from their home to the school. Even other schools offer prizes--all to avoid losing critical education dollars.
Those who cannot attend school today due to sickness or other appointments are being told they must document the reason for their absence to prove that they are enrolled and attending school regularly but just not able to be in the classroom for the Count Day.