May 17, 2016

What’s Still at Play in the FY17 Budget?

The points of difference between the House and Senate versions of the FY2017 state budget that impact children, youth and families will be worked out in conference committee meetings over the next few weeks. In our newest Budget Basics report, Michigan’s Children outlines key areas of agreement, and areas of interest still at play where your voice and input can still make a difference.  Read about Early On, child care subsidies, family adoption support, competency-based education, support for expanded learning and more.

With state revenues projected to be lower than anticipated for this budget year, make sure you also let your legislators know what other issues are important to you.  There is already talk of cutting back increases in the Healthy Kids Dental program, and per pupil increases that had broad support in both the House and Senate.

Bill Strengthening Rights of Kids in
Foster Care Passes House

With strong bipartisan support, the three-bill package known as the Children’s Assurance of Quality Foster Care Act (HBs 4976-4978) has passed the House and now moves to the state Senate for consideration.  Legislators, including bill sponsor Rep. Jim Runestad, has credited Michigan's Children's KidSpeak forums for helping to raise the voice of children, youth and families served by the foster care system.  The package of bills is a step toward better practices for the more than 13,000 children and youth in foster care. 

Contact your Senator today to urge swift attention to these bills.

Students Visit Superintendent Whiston, Advocate for Alternative Ed

Houghton Lake Community Education has a successful alternative education program offering area students a second-chance at a high school diploma. This month, teacher Theresa McMunigal brought about 40 of the youth to Lansing for tours at the State Library, the state Capitol building, and a visit with Michigan Superintendent of Schools Brian Whiston, an advocate of competency-based education, facilitated by Michigan’s Children.  Read about what the teens had to say to the state’s top educator here.

Read about why multiple paths to high school graduation are so essential in our newest Issues for Michigan’s Children.

Denise Ilitch is 2016 Heroes Night Honoree

Michigan’s Children is proud to honor business leader and philanthropist Denise Ilitch, founder of Ilitch Charities, at our 2016 Heroes Night. A tireless champion for Michigan women and children, Ilitch will be recognized at this celebration and fundraiser at the MGM Grand Casino in Detroit on June 6, 2016.  Since its inception in 2005, Ilitch’s nonprofit has donated $35 million to Detroit-based nonprofits in the areas of community development, human services, education and recreation.

Learn more about the event and order tickets online.

Share Great Michigan Work
Promoting Graduation

Michigan is hosting the 2016 National Dropout Prevention Network Conference at the Renaissance Center in Detroit, October 2 – October 5, 2016. The conference is being sponsored by the Michigan Department of Education and the Ford Fund, among others.  Michigan’s Children has been participating on the conference planning committee, and has taken the lead in facilitating a youth-led block of workshops during the conference. Please consider submitting a proposal to highlight the great work of your local program or initiative through this online submission form.  Proposals will be accepted until June 1st.

If you are interested in helping to facilitate a youth-led conference option, or have young people who would be interested in helping us work on planning those sessions over the summer, contact Michele Corey.

Michigan’s Children Welcomes
Intern Briana Coleman

Michigan’s Children is pleased to welcome Hamtramck native Briana Coleman to intern with us this year. Briana is a second-year MSW student from the University of Michigan studying social and economic policies effecting disadvantaged youth.  She joins the staff with a depth of experience working for the Adolescent Project, a community intervention program with the Lansing District Court and Michigan State University, and as a program assistant for college access workshops with the Center for Educational Outreach at the University of Michigan.  Learn more about Briana in her introductory blog.

Advocacy tips to help you stand up and speak out for Michigan children. 
With the summer campaign season fast approaching, there isn’t much time left to move bills under consideration before the state Legislature. Check out our Act Now page and talk with your lawmakers.

 Direct Quote

"It was an important opportunity to explain why a standard four-year high school experience isn't for everyone."

-- Theresa McMunigal, alternative ed. teacher, at
student visit with Superintendent Whiston

Staff Blogs

Briana Coleman:
Meet Briana, the Newest Member of Our Staff

Speaking for Kids is Michigan's Children's twice-a-month e-bulletin that offers public policy and budget information relating to children, youth and families in our state. 

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