Monday, June 28, 2021

Report: Michigan in middle of the pack for kids' care

Posted By on Mon, Jun 28, 2021 at 10:25 AM

click to enlarge Critics say the state legislature has been shortchanging K-12 schools for years. - SHUTTERSTOCK
  • Shutterstock
  • Critics say the state legislature has been shortchanging K-12 schools for years.

Michigan ranked 28th in the country for overall child well-being and 41st in education as of 2019, according to a new report.

The 2021 Kids Count Databook from the Annie E. Casey Foundation found that Michigan had been making progress before the pandemic, with 18% of children living in poverty in 2019 compared to 23% in 2010.

Kelsey Perdue, Kids Count Initiative project director at the Michigan League for Public Policy, said one bright spot is Michigan's success in getting 97% of kids insured — the 5th best record in the country.

"However, pre-pandemic we know that over half of our kids were covered by an employer-sponsored health plan, associated with their caregivers' work plan," said Perdue. "But with massive job loss last year, that outcome is definitely at risk."

The Kids Count Databook shows that 68% of Michigan 4th graders are not proficient in reading — and 69% of 8th graders aren't at grade level in math.

Perdue said the state legislature has been shortchanging K-12 schools for years.

"Over the last decade Michigan diverted $4.5 billion that was intended for public K-12 schools to universities and community colleges to help balance the state budget," said Perdue. "So we haven't adequately funded our schools and we certainly haven't equitably funded our schools. "

Leslie Boissiere, vice president of external affairs at the Casey Foundation, said the data show persistent racial or ethnic inequities, especially during the pandemic.

"If you look at families who were anxious about either being evicted or losing their homes," said Boissiere, "the overall number was about 20%. So one in five. If you look at the number of Black and Latino families, it was more like one in three."

The new child poverty tax credit will send most families an extra $250 to $300 dollars a month per child starting in a few weeks, going through the end of the year. The report calls on Congress to make those income supports permanent.

Stay connected with Detroit Metro Times. Subscribe to our newsletters, and follow us on Google News, Apple News, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Reddit.

Tags: , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

December 1, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2021 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation