Thursday, January 31, 2013

What "Kids Count in Michigan" Missed

More children lived in poor or low-income families. By 2011 over half a million children in the state lived in families with income below the poverty level ($18,000 for a single-parent family of three and $23,000 for a two-parent family of four). Between 2005 and 2010 the child poverty rate escalated from 18 percent to 23 percent. Relatively high unemployment and eroding wages weakened financial security in Michigan families. Yet the state has responded by shortening the period for unemployment benefits, drastically cutting the state Earned Income Tax Credit, restricting access to the major federal nutrition assistance program for families by implementing state-based asset limits for participation and imposing lifetime limits on cash assistance for previously exempt single-parent families with children. ~ Kids Count in Michigan Data Book 2012, Executive Summary, page 2

What the study should have included but didn't were the continuing state funding cuts to K-12 public schools, and further dilution of available school aid funds to support unproven corporate charters and cyber schools, both actions hurting urban poor and minority students the most.

Especially when you combine it with one of the nation's least equitable school funding systems in the country (National Report Card)