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      School gives gift cards for kids to come to class on count day

      Detroit school officials are wooing students to class for Pupil Count Day by offering free lunches and $20,000 in Target gift cards.

      Incentives that include pizza parties and cash are being offered statewide Wednesday as districts struggling with falling tax revenue and declining financial support try to boost enrollment on a day that determines state funding.

      Michigan Department of Education spokeswoman Jan Ellis tells The Detroit News the offers are like signing bonuses and don't break any rules.

      Detroit Public Schools has set an enrollment target of 77,314 students.

      The city has lost nearly 100,000 students since 1997, when enrollment stood at 175,168. It ended the past school year with about 87,700 students, and could bottom out at about 56,500 by 2014.

      *WE WANT TO KNOW IF YOU THINK IT IS ACCEPTABLE FOR SCHOOLS TO OFFER INCENTIVES FOR STUDENTS TO BE IN CLASS ON COUNT DAY! VOTE IN OUR POLL BELOW!!!

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