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Michigan ranked the lowest out of all states in the Great Lakes region, finishing behind Minnesota (fourth), Wisconsin (12th), Illinois (22nd) Ohio (25th) and Indiana (28th). For the second consecutive year, New Hampshire was ranked the best in child well-being, followed by Massachusetts, New Jersey, Minnesota and Iowa. The worst five states were Alaska, Nevada, Mississippi and Louisiana, with New Mexico taking last place.

“The numbers released today reflect the priorities of our state’s leaders,” said Gilda Z. Jacobs, president and CEO of the Michigan League for Public Policy, partner of the Casey Foundation. “Although we hear messaging around Michigan becoming a stronger state filled with a talented young workforce, the policies and budget choices made by lawmakers do not show a desire to improve the well-being of young people. If we want a talented workforce in the future, we need to invest more in early childhood education, communities and families today.”

One of the biggest concerns about Michigan is stagnation, said Michigan League for Public Policy Project Director Alicia Guevara Warren. In Michigan’s worst area — education — there were small improvements in some of the indicators: The percentage of high school students not graduating on time dropped from 26 percent to 20 percent, and fourth-graders not proficient in reading dropped from 70 percent to 68 percent. However, Warren said those changes aren’t statistically significant.

“In education, we really stagnated,” she said. “The bright spot is we’re not in the bottom 10 in education anymore.” June 27, 2018 – Holland Sentinel

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