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Ohio's auditor lobbies to ditch school "count week"
Yost says one week to count students in classrooms to determine funding isn't enough

Karen Kasler
Ohio Auditor Dave Yost talks how student attendance helps Ohio school districts receive state funding.
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Around the state, public schools are carefully counting heads this week—that’s because those student totals help determine how much state funding districts will receive.

But state Auditor Dave Yost says “Count Week” is an outdated concept, and he says that attendance taken daily could easily be shared daily as well. And he says that’s important to do to avoid future scandals involving student data.

Hear Yost on Ohio school districts participating in "Count Week"

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Last year, nine of more than 600 Ohio school districts were caught improperly withdrawing and then re-enrolling students to improve the district’s overall performance.

Yost says in the wake of a scandal, one week to count heads in classrooms isn't enough.

Hear Yost on updating "Count Week" system
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“In 2015, they will start doing three weeks instead of one,” Yost said. “But there really isn't any reason, in this day and age, that we couldn't have a web-based application that all the schools can upload the data that they are collecting now.”

Yost wants the Ohio Department of Education to track student attendance all year long, and the agency has said, while it feels districts are reporting accurate data, it’s open to considering Yost’s recommendation.

Districts that are especially dependent on state funding often reach out to parents to urge them to make sure kids get to school during “Count Week,” and some hold special parties or activities to encourage students to come to class.

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