Count Day for Public Schools Happens Again in February
Public schools in Michigan have been forced to get creative in order to attract students to attend school on days when it is especially important for them: The two days every year the state wants to see their attendance numbers.
Think of it this way: Your employer tells your boss he won't get paid unless all the employees who report to him show up for work on two specific dates in the coming months. So, he spends a fair amount of time encouraging you and your coworkers to be there on those days. He even offers to buy you lunch that day. Maybe breakfast, too. He might even decide to raffle off some gift cards or other prizes on those days.
Public schools in the state are like your boss. They're going to work extra hard to get students in their seats on what's become known as "count days". Especially if you're a district like Battle Creek Public Schools, where enrollment numbers have been dropping steadily.
The state uses those Count Day numbers to decide how much revenue it will provide to districts in the coming year. Battle Creek Public Schools officials tell WBCK if a student is absent on those days, the state may take away funding for that student - even if that student is there next year.
Add to that the notion that the Michigan Treasury is keeping an eye on BCPS and its financial standing, and the pressure is on.
We spoke with BCPS officials the day before Count Day in October, 2016. Click the player below and hear what they had to say.