It’s a very important day for public schools across Michigan. It’s “Count Day” –and districts need every student to be in class because enrollment numbers translate into state funding.

The Detroit Public Schools are sweetening the pot with free breakfast and lunch to students.

As an added incentive for parents to ensure that their kids are in school today, Target is providing $20,000 in gift cards for parents who bring their children to school for a full day. The gift cards will be randomly distributed in October, including five prizes of $1,000 each.

In Southgate, meanwhile, the prize for showing up for school on Count Day: an education.

Superintendent Dave Peden says students are expected to be in class every day, so he’s standing pat in not offering prizes or raffles. He says parents will sometimes try to use today as a form of protest.

“I’ve had parents that get upset with me from time-to-time, and say well, ‘I’m not gonna send ’em and you won’t get that money.’ Well, you know if they return, we’re still gonna get that money,” Peden told WWJ Newsradio 950.

Peden says their budget is operating on the premise that the district will be down about one hundred students from last year.

Copyright, 2010. WWJ Newsradio 950, All Rights Reserved.


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