Parents whose kids take a day off from school in Scotts Valley, Calif., are being asked to open their wallets. That will be $36.13, please. Desperate to hold on to every penny of state funding, Scotts Valley Unified School District leaders are asking parents to make a donation to the district for the amount it loses every time a student is absent for a reason other than illness. They say such absences cost the district $223,500 last school year. State funding for schools is based in large part on a formula called "average daily attendance" Districts aren't paid for how many students are enrolled in their schools, but how many kids show up for classes. So, more absences means less money.