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December 22, 2014

Dear Early Childhood Supporter,

Welcome to Michigan's Children's Early Childhood Action Network. We are using this network to provide timely information on a variety of topics related to early childhood issues in Michigan, with a focus on race equity and how early childhood is critical to the cradle to career continuum of child development, education, and economic success. If you have any questions about the information provided, please feel free to contact me. I welcome your input.

In this issue:

  • FYI: Road Funding Deal Comes Out of Lame Duck
  • FYI: Washington Updates
  • ACT NOW: Sign-On Today to Fight Federal Sequestration
  • ACT NOW: Please Take Our Short Survey
 

FYI: Road Funding Deal Comes Out of Lame Duck


With the focus on road funding, very little else was accomplished during Michigan's Lame Duck session.  Early childhood advocates were concerned about the third grade reading bill, which focused on retention rather than prevention and early intervention.  While this issue was not taken up during Lame Duck, it will surely come back in the next legislative session.  As for roads, the Michigan Legislature has finally done something to address the lack of adequate funding for road and bridge improvements that has plagued the state for years.  On May 5th, voters will see a referendum to increase the state’s sales tax from 6% to 7% to support Michigan's road infrastructure.  Learn more about the road funding deal that came out of lame duck in Matt's blog.
 

FYI: Washington Updates


CCDBG: Last month, President Obama signed the reauthorized Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) into law.  The law is aimed at ensuring the health and safety of children in child care, facilitating families’ access to child care assistance, and improving the quality of child care for children.  See our brief overview on what the CCDBG changes would mean for Michigan, as well as the National Women's Law Center's chart on changes to the law.

White House Summit on Early Childhood Education: On December 10th, President Obama hosted the White House Summit on Early Childhood Education, a meeting with early childhood advocates, lawmakers, philanthropists and business leaders to showcase the importance of early childhood education. During the summit, philanthropic organizations committed to investing over $1 billion in early childhood programs, and Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership awards were announced -- three of which were awarded to Michigan programs.  Additionally, Invest in US was launched as a hub to aggregate momentum and support and to provide resources for early learning.

Cromnibus: Last week, Congress approved federal spending through September 30, 2015.  This bill, also called the “cromnibus” – a combination omnibus spending bill and continuous resolution, includes the following for some key early childhood programs.
  • A $75 million increase for CCDBG totaling to $2.4 billion.
  • Funding for Head Start and the Early Head Start – Child Care Partnership Grants remained constant at $8.6 billion.
  • Funding for the Preschool Development Grants also remained constant at $250 million.
  • The Race to the Top initiative is defunded.
  • Increases in funding for Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) by $25 million.
  • Increases in spending for Title I (federal funding for low-income school districts) by $25 million.
 

ACT NOW: Sign-On Today to Fight Federal Sequestration


Join Michigan's Children and our other partners at the national, state, and local levels to send Congress a strong message that the federal budget is important to Michigan children and families.  Sequestration is upon us again as the temporary and partial relief negotiated in the Bipartisan Budget Act expires at the end of federal fiscal year 2015. Congressional action next year is needed to protect funding for federal programs that keep families safe, healthy, and secure.  Please loan your voice to the fight against sequestration by signing on to this letter to Congress by COB January 5, 2015.  Please sign-on today.

 

ACT NOW: Please Take Our Short Survey


Michigan’s Children is taking some time before the new legislative session begins next month to consider how to best enlist your help to ensure that public policies are made in the best interest of our children, youth and families. We want to better understand what motivates you to take policy action, and what information is helpful for that action.  Please take a few minutes to answer these questions to help us work better together in 2015.
 

HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO YOU AND YOUR LOVED ONES!

Sincerely,
Mina Hong
Senior Policy Associate
mina@michiganschildren.org

 




215 S. Washington Square, Suite 110
Lansing, MI 48933
(517) 485-3500
www.michiganschildren.org

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