(10/02/13) - It's a big day for school districts across the state - a day administrators hope no classroom seat is empty.
It's student count day and state money is on the line.
Many Saginaw County districts will see a noticeable difference in their student numbers after the dissolution of the Buena Vista School District.
It's still pretty early and some schools have not tabulated their final count, but ut we know at least a few schools should see a boost in student enrollment. BV Schools closed this summer and more than 400 students enrolled in surrounding districts.
Saginaw and Bridgeport Spaulding schools welcomed the largest amount of former BV students, with Saginaw getting more than 200 and Bridgeport more than 100. A smaller number went to Frankenmuth.
Both Saginaw and Bridegport-Spaulding districts are working on deficit elimination plans with the state, so Student Count Day is especially important for them.
Ninety percent of each district's per-pupil funding from the state will be determined by Wednesday's count.
Educators will have a better idea of where they stand financially for the rest of the school year after Wednesday.
"The head count equals our funding from the state of Michigan, we get our resources, our revenues based on the students who are in school today," said Superintendent Gloria Rubis, of Bridgeport Spaulding Community Schools.
Rubis says she's feeling confident about count day.
"Probably our enrollment has gone up between 175 and 200 students," she said.
That's good news for a district working with the state on a deficit elimination plan.
Rubis estimates Bridgeport-Spaulding is looking to get rid of about $2 million of red ink.
Additional funding from the state in per-pupil funding would help reduce that debt.
"If we can be smart with the new dollars and plan accordingly and really put into our programs what is necessary, we can continue our quality programs and bank some of that revenue and decrease that deficit," Rubis said.
Wednesday's count at Bridgeport Spaulding was 1,668 students, an increase of 218 from the last count day.
Saginaw's superintendent was not available for an on-camera interview, but we did talk to Dr. Jenkin's over the phone. He tells us attendance looked good Wednesday. We have not yet received a final count of the student attendance there.
Saginaw schools are also working with the state on a deficit elimination plan.
Flint Community Schools reported 7,280 students reported for class, Wednesday.
That means enrollment is down from last year. Fewer students will mean fewer dollars coming in from the state.
According to the Michigan Department of Education, school districts will receive, on average, $7,026 per pupil this school year.
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