Most of Ohio’s public schools are in the middle of what’s called “count week” – when their daily attendance is used to determine state funding for public school districts.
But state auditor Dave Yost says in the wake of a scandal in which nine districts were found changing student data, one week to count heads in classrooms isn’t enough.
"In 2015, they will start doing three weeks instead of one, but there really isn't any reason in this day and age that we couldn't have a web based application where all of the schools just upload the data that they are collecting right 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.