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Report: Race and income still major factor in child well-being

United States Department of Education

Past and present public policies have a major impact on the disparities in child well-being in Michigan. That’s according to a report released Tuesday by the Michigan League for Public Policy.

According to the report, race, income and community are some of the biggest indicators of the wellbeing of Michigan children.

“We need to be thinking about policy reforms to institutions and systems that have created and continue to allow these inequities to continue,” said Kids Count in Michigan Project Director at the Michigan League for Public Policy, Alicia Guevara Warren.

Guevara Warren said the state needs to improve things like access to good, affordable childcare and adult education.

“Making sure that we’re targeting areas that need it the most and that we’re looking at the systems that are creating barriers,” she said.

While Guevara Warren said the connection between race and poverty is nothing new, there is some progress in infant mortality rates. 

“It’s really important to note though that we are making progress,” she said. “Although the gaps do continue to exist, the gaps do continue to exist the gaps are starting to somewhat close which is really, points us that we’re doing some things right on the ground.”

The report also found that the percent of Michigan kids living in poverty has gone up since 2008. The rates for children of color are significantly worse than white children.

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R
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