April 29, 2019

Monday, April 29, 2019

Kids Count in MI

The Michigan League for Public Policy’s (MLPP) 2019 Kids Count in Michigan Data Book is calling for policy solutions to better support Michigan children.

The new report, supported by eight CMF members, details how Michigan children are faring in the areas of economic security, health and safety, family and community, and education. We’re sharing highlights and MLPP’s recommendations for Michigan children.

Data highlights:

  • Economic security

    • 19.6 percent of children in Michigan live in poverty.

    • About 23 percent of children live in working households with low incomes who are still struggling due to low wages, unaffordable child care and housing, and a lack of access to training and education programs.

    • Approximately 47 percent of children in immigrant families live in low-income households.

    • While two-thirds of young children have two working parents, child care can consume more than 35 percent of full-time, minimum wage earnings.

  • Health and safety

    • 97 percent of Michigan children have health care coverage.

    • More than 32 percent of births are to women who received less than adequate prenatal care due to a lack of access, coverage, transportation and work schedules, among other factors.

    • Women of color are disproportionately impacted and face more barriers to accessing adequate prenatal care.

    • More than 93,000 1- to 2-year-olds have tested positive for possible lead poisoning.

  • Family and community

    • The rate of child abuse and neglect has increased by 30 percent from 2012 to 2017, disproportionately affecting children of color.

    • Approximately 58 percent of older foster youth age of out the system.

  • Education

    • Nearly 53 percent of Michigan 3- and 4-year-olds are not in preschool.

    • Approximately 56 percent of Michigan third graders tested below proficiency levels in reading.

    • More than 67 percent of eighth graders aren’t proficient in math.

    • 19.8 percent of high school students do not graduate on time.

MLPP shares that the data book, now in its 27th year, continues to demonstrate how pervasive child poverty is in our state, despite improvements that have been made. The data also shows how children of color are disproportionately impacted.

“Poverty and racial equity may not seem like easy issues to tackle, but just as they were often generated by past public policies, they can be offset by future ones,” Gilda Jacobs, president and CEO of the MLPP said.

Highlights of MLPP’s policy recommendations:

  • Expand income eligibility levels for child care subsidies and increase provider reimbursement rates to ensure access to high-quality child care.

  • Expand the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to allow young workers and adults without children to receive the credit.

  • Expand home health visitation programs by creating a centralized intake process that will ensure families can participate in the programs.

  • Promote comprehensive strategies to prevent child abuse and neglect through investments in job training, child care, parenting education and home visitation programs.

  • Provide sufficient funding for early interventions to improve third grade reading using a birth-to-8 framework.

  • Ensure all children can receive a high-quality preschool education.

The data book provides comprehensive insights on a state level and local context through a county-by-county breakdown.

Want more?

Check out the full report to see how your county is ranked in the key indicators and issue areas.








Efforts Underway to Improve MI’s Justice System

Changes may be on the way for Michigan’s justice system with recent legislation passed by the Michigan Senate and House and the establishment of a new bipartisan task force aimed at improving our state’s jail and pretrial system.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer shared that the Michigan Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Incarceration will provide a “bipartisan review of the state’s jail and court data to expand alternatives to jail, safely reduce jail admissions and length of stay, and improve the effectiveness of the front end of Michigan’s justice system.”

Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist and Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel are two of the members of the developing task force. Both Gilchrist and Nessel participated at the Michigan Roundtable on Safety and Justice, which was co-hosted by the Hudson-Webber Foundation and several partners.

As CMF reported, Hudson-Webber recently shared two reports that emerged from the Roundtable, providing a comprehensive look at some of the issues youth and adults are facing within our justice system as well as recommendations for justice reform in Michigan.

The new task force’s focus which includes the need for interventions to expand alternatives to jail and improving the pretrial process align with the discussions at the Roundtable event.

“The Hudson-Webber Foundation applauds Governor Whitmer’s executive order establishing the Michigan Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Incarceration,” Melanca Clark, president and CEO of the Hudson-Webber Foundation said. “We believe a comprehensive examination of jails, the front-door to the justice system, will allow the state to chart new approaches to protect public safety while addressing fairness, efficiency and community well-being.”

Another topic mentioned in the Michigan Safety Justice Roundtable youth report is the fact that Michigan is one of only four remaining states that automatically classifies 17-year-olds as adults in the justice system.

As of last week, both the Michigan Senate and House passed legislation which seeks to raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction to 18 years old.

Raising the age was one of several policy recommendations in the Michigan League for Public Policy’s (MLPP) Owner’s Manual for Michigan. MLPP was also one of the foundation’s partners in the Michigan Safety Justice Roundtable.

According to MLPP, “Youth prosecuted as adults are 34 percent more likely to reoffend than youth in the juvenile justice system.”

The bill may soon head to the governor.

Meanwhile, at the state level, several CMF members, the Office of Foundation Liaison (OFL) and CMF met with the director at the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) last week. The MDOC shared priorities from the department’s recently completed strategic plan and learned about intersecting work from Michigan funders.

Want more?

Check out the reports from the Hudson-Webber Foundation.







Legislation We’re Watching in Lansing

Companion bills that seek to connect Michigan residents with postsecondary opportunities have been introduced in both the House and Senate in Lansing.

The bills are focused on “enhancing the economic talent of Michigan residents, increasing access to academic and technical credentials or certifications and improving educational opportunities.”

If passed, the bipartisan legislation would establish the Michigan Reconnect Grant and the Michigan Opportunity Initiative. Both programs are modeled after bipartisan programs in Tennessee.

Michigan Reconnect

Michigan Reconnect would provide a tuition-free pathway to an industry certificate or associate degree. Specifically, House Bill 4456 and Senate Bill 268 seek to establish a financial aid program for residents seeking associate degrees or industry-recognized certificates. To qualify, a resident must be at least 25 years old, have a high school degree or equivalent and be enrolled in an eligible program.

Michigan Opportunity Initiative

The Michigan Opportunity Initiative offers two paths to help graduating high schoolers obtain a postsecondary credential. Path I provides two years of tuition-free education at a community college. While Path II provides two years of tuition assistance at a university.

House Bill 4464 and Senate Bill 267 seek to establish a tuition assistance program for undergraduate students attending certain colleges, universities and community colleges. The program would establish a success-coach program at eligible community colleges to provide support services for those participating in the program.

The bills state that both programs would be funded through the state’s Talent Investment Fund.

Bridge Magazine reports Michigan Reconnect would cost $40 million to launch while the Michigan Opportunity Initiative would cost $109 million in the first year.

In her State of the State Address earlier this year Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced a new statewide goal to increase the number of Michiganders with a postsecondary credential to 60 percent by 2030. Prior to her announcement Michigan was one of only nine states in the U.S. without a formal goal for postsecondary attainment.

The governor shared that Michigan Reconnect and the Michigan Opportunity Scholarship would play a large role in helping Michigan residents attain a postsecondary credential.

All four bills have been referred to the Committee on Appropriations.

Want more?

CMF will be monitoring activity on this legislation and alert members of key developments via our social media channels @michfoundations.








Michigan Forum for African Americans in Philanthropy Affinity Group

A note from MFAAP co-chairs, Marcus McGrew and Jonse Young:

Greetings from the Michigan Forum for African Americans in Philanthropy (MFAAP) – a community of African American philanthropic professionals where you are always loved, always welcomed! Over the last few months, the MFAAP team, namely Marcus McGrew, Jonse Young and CMF program coordinators Laura Collier and Dondré Young, has been hard at work combing countless websites and social media platforms to invite and welcome new and returning members to our growing community. We’ve planned an exciting 2019 program curriculum to further deepen your knowledge about the conditions which make philanthropy necessary, sharpen your leadership skills and expand your professional network.

Founded in 2009 as an affinity group of the Council of Michigan Foundations, MFAAP’s mission is to broaden and strengthen philanthropy in the African American community in Michigan. We are a strong and mighty group of philanthropic professionals working to effect social change in local communities in Michigan, throughout the United States and worldwide. Our members represent individuals, family, corporate, community and private foundations and public charities, serve in many and varied roles from chief executive officer to emerging and senior program and operations leaders, and have careers which span from less than a year to more than 30 years.

Get connected

We invite you to join us on the Michigan Forum for African Americans in Philanthropy affinity group online community. We look forward to seeing you at a future event and welcome your suggestions and questions about MFAAP.

Join us for MFAAP’s Spring Convening: ABFE’s Intro to Racial Equity 101: A Framework for Advancing Racial Equity through Policies and Practices on May 31.

We look forward to sharing more details on our Fall Convening in the Grand Rapids area soon!

Equipping you to soar higher,

Marcus McGrew, director of program operations and information management, The Kresge Foundation and Jonse Young, director of philanthropic services, Grand Rapids Community Foundation

Co-Chairs, Michigan Forum for African Americans in Philanthropy


Please feel free to connect with CMF program coordinators Laura Collier and Dondré Young.

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