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April 14, 2015

Talk to Legislators about FY2016 Budget Plans that Impact Children and Youth     


There are wide discrepancies over how children, youth and families will benefit under the FY2016 state budget currently being developed by lawmakers. At the end of March, the state House and Senate offered up their budget proposals through the Appropriations subcommittee process.  The House and Senate proposals have varying recommendations as it relates to improving 3rd grade reading, supporting At-Risk learners, and investing in adult education. 

To sort out where the plans are similar and dissimilar, Michigan’s Children has created two Budget Basics reports detailing what the plans mean for young children and for youth.  Read them and use the information to contact your legislators about what you are particularly passionate about. Back from a two-week break, legislators will be hunkering down to develop a final budget plan and they need to hear from you today.  Because of major differences between the House and Senate plans, it’s critical that constituents like you speak up and advocate for provisions that are in the best interest of all our children and youth, particularly the most vulnerable.

FY2016 Budget Recommendations: What They Mean for Youth in Michigan

The FY2016 Budget Proposals:  What they Mean for Young Children and their Families

Proposal 1: What It Means for Children, Families, Schools and Communities


Michigan’s Children Sandbox Party has created a handy one-pager to share with groups and individuals about the upcoming statewide ballot proposal.  The May 5th Proposal 1 Road Package:  Protecting and Supporting Michigan Children & Families outlines new revenues guaranteed for schools and children, along with guarantees to protect hard-working, low-income earners. Please share it with friends and neighbors.

Then, check out a new, 2.5-minute informational video by the Michigan Citizens Education Fund about Proposal 1.  It describes the costs of driving on crumbling roads and how the proposal would fund repairs, while detailing new revenues for education that would be guaranteed in the School Aid Fund.

 

Join Us in Raising Awareness Around Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention


For 30 years, April has been designated as Child Abuse Prevention Month when national attention is drawn to finding ways to prevent childhood abuse and neglect. In Michigan, nearly 34,000 kids were confirmed victims of abuse in 2013.  Overall, nearly one child in 10 lives in a family that’s been investigated for abuse or neglect, and in some Michigan counties the rate is even as high as one in four children, according to the annual Kids Count Data Book.  This rise in abuse/neglect mimics the rise in child poverty and follows the state trend of disinvestment in child abuse/neglect prevention programs and basic family needs.
 
At Michigan’s Children, we know information such as this can be powerful to urge people to take notice.  One important opportunity to do this occurs on April 23, 2015 when the Michigan’s Children’s Trust Fund sponsors its seventh annual Prevention Awareness Day Rally on the steps of the Capitol.  Attendees from across the state will be meeting with policymakers to discuss what’s happening with children, youth and families in their communities. Raising awareness and discussing how policy changes – particularly investments in the state budget – can improve the lives of Michigan’s children with the very people who make policy should be at the heart of Child Abuse Prevention Month.  Please consider attending and most importantly speaking to your lawmakers about promoting policies that make a difference.

Michigan’s Children Is Among Sponsors of Infant Mental Conference 


Michigan’s premiere learning opportunity “for all things Infant Mental Health” occurs next month in Kalamazoo with featured national and international experts in the field.  As a sponsor of the biennial conference for the Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health (MI-AIMH), Michigan’s Children will participate in several important ways.  Since advancing policies that improve the well-being of children beginning at birth is among Michigan’s Children’s top priorities, we are hoping to strengthen the advocacy voice of conference attendees dedicated to improving the well-being of infants and their families.  Specifically, Michigan’s Children is playing a key role in the invitation-only Policy Luncheon, and Vice President for Programs Michele Corey will conduct a training workshop on advocacy during the three-day conference that begins on May 17.  Register today for the 2015 MI-AIMH Conference: “Caring for the Whole Child:  Working Together for the Health and Well-being of Infants, Toddlers and Their Families.”

Michigan’s Children Participates in Family Literacy Event


On Tuesday, March 31st, Michigan’s Children Senior Policy Associate Mina Hong participated on a panel at the Wayne Metro Community Action Agency’s Literacy Social.  Intended to promote family and dual generation literacy initiatives in Detroit, Mina talked about the importance of family literacy programming to improve third-grade reading and to bolster the state’s workforce, as well as the importance of the May 5th ballot proposal to generate revenue for roads and education.  Read Michigan’s Children’s Family Literacy Issues brief to learn more about how this two-generation approach can improve third grade reading scores.
Advocacy tips to help you stand up and speak out for Michigan children. 
 
Don’t give up your right to vote come May 5. All elections matter, and it’s vitally important for all who care about children and families to turn out for the statewide ballot issue known as Proposal 1.  Besides addressing the long-standing problem of Michigan’s poor roads, it also creates needed new revenues for schools and municipalities and provides tax relief for low-income earners by expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit.  Learn more by visiting the Sandbox Party website.
     
 
Quotes
 
"A new spotlight has been cast on addressing the long-standing problem of third grade reading proficiency among Michigan schoolchildren. Gov. Snyder understands we need a well-educated workforce and to get it we must increase the number of children who are literate by the end of third grade."
    
 -- Matt Gillard, Michigan's Children, and Jane Zehender-Merrell, Kids Count in Michigan in "Prop 1 would help Michigan's children," The Macomb Daily 

 
In the News
 
Prop 1 would help Michigan's children, The Macomb Daily, April 7, 2015

Coalition: More funding needed to help kids reach reading standards, The Royal Oak Daily Tribune, April 3, 2015

Our View: Early childhood programs among best investments, Holland Sentinel, March 29, 2015
 

Staff Blogs
 


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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