Michigan school districts participate in second Count Day of the year

One U.P. school district hopes for a good count and a lot of state aid for this year’s budget
Count Day at all Michigan school districts
Count Day at all Michigan school districts(WLUC)
Published: Oct. 6, 2021 at 5:41 PM EDT
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ISHPEMING TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WLUC) - For the second time this year, Count Day took place in school districts all over Michigan. It is a day when the schools tally the number of kids in attendance and enrolled for the year.

As NICE Community Schools Superintendent Bryan DeAugustine explains, the number of students counted on Wednesday relates to this year’s budget.

“That’s salaries for teachers,” he said. “That’s busing costs. That’s textbooks. It goes towards electricity, heat, and computers. All of those expenditures are coming out of those per-pupil dollars.”

NICE currently operates on a $15,000,000 budget, with around two-thirds of that coming from the student counts. DeAugustine projects to have a count of 1,168 students, with the district receiving $8,700 for each.

“Locally, we collect about 25% of our revenue, and then 75% comes from the state,” he explained. “That’s all predicated on the number of kids who actually attend school during the school year.”

There are two count days that occur every calendar year, with most of the funding coming from the October count.

“Schools get eleven state aid payments throughout the year,” said DeAugustine. The first one comes in October, and the last one comes in August. There is no state aid in September.”

Despite COVID-19, DeAugustine says his district got lucky last year, as around 90% of the students were able to do in-person learning. This year, he is hopeful for another good count.

“We’re never too far off,” he said. “We feel really good about that. It’s tough to get it to the exact number of single-digit kids, but we’re always within a few percentage points of the actual student population.”

The next Count Day will be the second Wednesday of February 2022.

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