Michigan’s Children issued the following statement on Governor Rick Snyder’s FY 2018-19 budget recommendation. The proposal includes the first ever statewide appropriation for Early On at $5 million, a $240 per pupil K-12 school funding increase, but no increases in public support for child care, abuse and neglect prevention, and foster care. This statement can be attributed to Michigan’s Children President & CEO Matt Gillard.

“Early On helps builds family capacity to assist infant and toddler development and builds a foundation for early and K-12 learning. It’s proven to work for families and for the state – the return on investment is realized in a matter of years, not decades. We’ve argued for years that investing early is the most impactful way to maximize Michigan’s momentum, and applaud the Governor for implementing this recommendation of the Special Education Task Force report.”

“We additionally support the governor’s proposed K-12 per pupil increase and urge that funding increases provide schools with the tools they need to educate students whose families face the greatest challenges. Clear strategies to best target those funds are present in research and best practice, and are building through the School Finance Research Collaborative.”

“We also recognize that the work of building a strong foundation for Michigan’s workforce is far from complete. Thousands of working families lack access to affordable, high quality child care. Young adults in foster care still lack the services they need to transition to adult life and a successful career. Abuse and neglect prevention services that could save the state millions in reduced health care, education, and criminal justice costs are restrained by an outdated and patchwork funding system of income tax-checkoffs and license plate fees. These issues are too important to the future of our state’s workforce to ignore, and we are hopeful these conversations continue throughout the budget process.”

Michigan’s Children is the only statewide independent voice working to ensure that public policies are made in the best interest of children and their families from cradle to career. Our emphasis is on influencing public policies to close equity gaps and ensure that children and youth who face the most challenges have supports they need to succeed in school and life. For more, contact Bobby Dorigo Jones, robert@michiganschildren.org, (517) 648-5072 or visit michiganschildren.org.

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