The change was prompted by research that showed the state was paying for students counted in the spring who were no longer there in the fall. Under the new formula, districts with declining enrollment stand to lose money, while those adding students each school year will get more funding.
“We learned we were paying to educate kids who weren’t in school,” said GOP state Sen. Phil Pavlov, of St. Clair County’s St. Clair Township, chairman of the Senate Education Committee.
Also this year, count day was moved from the fourth Wednesday of September to the first Wednesday in October to align with a count done for special education students. The number of children in Michigan’s public schools has been falling since 2002, when 1.75 million students were recorded in the fall.
Last year’s fall count was 1.6 million.