Lansing Schools' aim to boost attendance on "Count Day"

LANSING, MI – Lansing public schools officials are hoping a growing effort to get kids in classrooms on Wednesday was successful. The head count will help determine state funding for the cash-strapped district for the current school year.

At Lansing's Pattengill Middle School, principal Kirk Sulzman says attendance trends are encouraging.

"The first year I came in here, we had a little problem with attendance and you know, discipline issues and those kinds of things that drive kids out of school because they don't feel safe," he said. "And over that period of time, the number has come way down."

The district is tackling a much greater challenge at the district's high schools. Data show almost 47% of Eastern High School students missed 21 days or more last year. Legislators on Wednesday were considering a 218-dollar reduction in Michigan's per pupil funding for the school year. It currently totals about $7,500.