school absenteeism

Max Johnston

The Michigan Department of Education says Traverse City Area Public Schools owes more than $700,000 for overpayment last year. 

The demand for the repayment stems from allegations that TCAPS misreported student enrollment numbers for the Northern Michigan Partnership, a program that combines online learning and classes at the TCAPS building in Interlochen.

Max Johnston

Michigan schools have one of the highest rates of chronic absenteeism in the country. That’s students that miss at least 10 percent of the school year.


However, Birch Street Elementary school in Kalkaska has found a way to keep kids in school by helping them inside and outside of the classroom.

The first week of school just finished at Birch Street. Attendance was high; only four students out of nearly 400 missed school.


Today (10/4)  is Count Day. For school districts in Michigan, it’s crucially important to have as many enrolled kids sitting in their seats as possible. That’s because this is one of the two days during the school year when attendance determines how much state aid schools will get.

There’s much work to do in boosting attendance, not just on Count Day.  A recent report from Johns Hopkins University finds Michigan's chronic student absence rate of 18-percent is well above the national average of 13-percent.