Poor Kids Falling Further Behind

Stephen Henderson speaks with President of the Michigan League For Public Policy Gilda Jacobs about Michigan’s performance in the Kids Count Data Book, which is an annual publication that assesses child well-being nationally. This year Michigan ranked 33rd in the Kids Count overall ranking falling for the second year in a row.  Henderson and Jacobs look at what’s happening in Michigan that caused this and what can be done to help the state raise itself back up.

  • Caring for Kids: The Kids Count report shows that impoverished children are still growing in number and families with unstable employment situations are also rising nationally. Jacobs notes that Michigan is still looking at the effects of the recession in the form of a five year economic stagnation that has dropped its ranking twice and placed it behind 32 other states.
  • Trickle-Up Theory: Jacobs says that tax shifts and arguments over policy issues will keep hurting family incomes, which affects their children’s well-being. She says unfortunately the money won’t get cut from corporate tax structures or incentives, but from health, education, and other human services. She says that the opposite is the solution. Allowing more money for developing families often trickles-up back into the community and small businesses.
  • Education First and Foremost: Stephen and Jacobs acknowledge Michigan’s early education efforts, but look at other factors that have not yet hit the radar.  Jacobs says jobs should have more flexibility so parents can stay involved in the school community. Stephen adds that adult education is just as important and training for movement between job sectors should also be available for families.

Click on the audio link above for the full conversation.

Image credit: Dr. Wendy Logo Flickr CC

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