Detroit shoe store rewards kids for helping to game the system

It’s a heartwarming story of high-minded civic involvement: CBS News reports that a Detroit shoe store called Bob’s Classic Kicks is offering a free pair of black leather Nikes to every student who shows up for school.

But they only have to show up on October 3.

Because that’s the day the number of students is counted for the purpose of obtaining funds from the state and federal governments.

CBS News explains that “Detroit schools have been plagued with failing test scores, jumbled finances, violence, and plummeting student population.”  But at least the population will be higher on October 3, because they’ll be giving out vouchers for free sneakers, to make sure lots of warm bodies pack the classrooms for the official head count.

Was it really so much to ask that the donors hand out their free sneakers at the end of the year, to students with exemplary attendance, good behavior, and passing grades?