From the League’s First Tuesday newsletter
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Last month, I shared with you the League’s proud history of 100 years of research and advocacy on behalf of economically vulnerable children and families in our great state.
As the Legislature and governor prepare to tackle the challenges that still face our state, I want to give you a snapshot of the League’s latest reports which help to highlight the pressing priorities.
Kids Count, by far, had the most stunning news.
Despite an improving economy, child abuse and neglect in Michigan jumped 34 percent over the past 10 years. Nearly half of all public school kids statewide now qualify for free or reduced price lunches.
The percent of kids living in poverty increased from 14 percent to 23 percent. In anybody’s book, these figures are unacceptable.
In addition, investing in children to reduce incarceration rates in the future is the theme of the League’s most current paper.
Michigan is one of only two states that spend more on corrections than higher education. This figure, too, is unacceptable. Studies prove that access to a quality education is the most important preventive measure against crime and imprisonment (and a much cheaper investment).
Finally, the League’s recently released tax paper points out that the new tax structure in Michigan hits the lowest-income folks 1,000 times harder than wealthier folks in the state. Again, another unacceptable statistic.
But the Legislature and administration can do something about these startling figures. Investing in public infrastructures and human capital works and will help provide a more secure future for our state, our families, and our children.
Let your voices be heard in Lansing.
— Gilda Z. Jacobs