As parents pull kids from school, ‘Count Day’ importance heightened

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)— October 6th is the first day of two student ‘Count Days’ across Michigan for this year until the 2022 school year.

‘Count Days’ are when schools record their enrollment to ensure they are receiving as much funding as possible from the state of Michigan. Public schools across the state count their students to figure out funding. Schools this year will get around $8700 per student.

“As far as planning purposes, trying to figure out what our anticipated budget is for the year, this ‘Count Day’ is important for us,” said Charlotte Public Schools Superintendent Mandy Stewart.

The COVID-19 pandemic impacted this year’s ‘Count Days.’ In the past, a formula existed to count students online versus in-person. However, this year the formula does not exist.

“Last year for the pandemic they flexed how we could count students,” Stewart said. “All of those pandemic flexibilities were taken away this year for the state.”

Students who were not at school this year due to quarantines, or any other absences will still need to be counted.

“For students with excused absences, if they attend within 30 days they can be counted,” Stewart said, “and If it’s unexcused they have 10 days to be counted if it’s a discipline related it’s 45 days.”

This rule also applies to families who have opted to remove their kids from in-person learning.

“We didn’t want to give the school the opportunity to earn that money from her by going virtual,” Orr said. “Instead, we completely pulled her from the district, so that way when we pulled her the money went with her. “

Jessie Orr removed her 5-year-old daughter from in-person instruction at schools due to a mask mandate. The mask mandate at the school has been lifted, but because of the start-again, stop-again nature of the mandates, Orr says she is homeschooling this entire year and plans to enroll her daughter again in 2022.

Stewart says Charlotte Public Schools will spend time this summer reaching out to people who either went virtual, decided to be home-schooled last year.

“We’re still here, we’re still offering live instruction,” Stewart said. “And we want you to be enrolled in our district.”

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