Column: Let’s use data to put kids and families first

BY: - July 15, 2021

Every year, Kids Count in Michigan asks how government policies and budgets can better prioritize what’s most important to us: young people and their families. And these questions have been even more important during the pandemic. As billions of dollars in federal support come into the state and state policymakers consider how to make the […]

Here’s how the new, expanded federal child tax credit will work

BY: - July 10, 2021

WASHINGTON — The most ambitious part of the pandemic stimulus package signed by President Joe Biden earlier this year is about to hit the bank accounts of millions of U.S. parents. Starting next week and ending in December, the vast majority of U.S. households with children will begin receiving monthly payments as a result of changes […]

Stabenow touts child tax credit boost as ‘tax cut for working people’

BY: - July 8, 2021

Starting next week, many Michigan families will receive monthly payments from the federal government through the new child tax credit expansion, benefiting nearly 2 million children in the state. During a press conference in Lansing Thursday, U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Lansing) and U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly) laid out the changes to the existing Child […]

Michigan lagged nationally in education before the pandemic hit. So what can be done now?

BY: - June 25, 2021

Even before the pandemic brought a tsunami of challenges to Michigan classrooms, the state’s schools — especially those in high-poverty districts — were struggling under the weight of years of inequitable public school funding, barriers to accessing early learning and unaffordable childcare. That’s according to findings in a new report released this week from the […]

‘Biological females are one of our nation’s greatest treasures,’ says backer of anti-trans sports bill

BY: - May 25, 2021

A state Senate bill that aims to prevent transgender athletes in Michigan high schools from competing on sports teams that align with their gender identity landed condemnation and support during a legislative hearing in Lansing Tuesday afternoon.  Senate Bill 218, which was introduced in March by state Sen. Lana Theis (R-Brighton) and is co-sponsored by […]

Experts: Homeless students slipping through the cracks during the pandemic

BY: - May 20, 2021

WASHINGTON — Witnesses before a U.S. House panel on Wednesday advised lawmakers on how federal relief aid can help bridge educational gaps among children who are homeless and in foster care during the pandemic. “While housing is critical, housing alone does not close the educational gap faced by students who have experienced homelessness,” Jennifer Erb-Downward, […]

GOP-led Legislature OKs bills banning mask mandate for kids, limiting Whitmer’s powers

BY: - May 13, 2021

During Thursday’s sessions in the House and Senate, Republicans moved the remaining bills for the Fiscal Year 2022 budget, while also passing bills prohibiting mask mandates for children, banning vaccine passports and limiting the powers of the State Administrative Board.  This week, both GOP-led chambers have been working to pass their own budget plans for […]

About 500K kids in Michigan are now eligible to get the COVID vaccine

BY: - May 13, 2021

Doctors and state and national public health leaders on Thursday morning urged Michigan parents to get their 12- to 15-year-old children vaccinated with Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. On Monday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized it for emergency use in this age group and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory […]

Whitmer: Legislature needs to OK $370M for childcare as more residents to restart in-person work

BY: - May 12, 2021

With COVID cases in Michigan receding and vaccinations increasing, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is calling on the GOP-led Legislature to work with her to pass $370 million to help in providing childcare for workers heading back to in-person work.  Whitmer announced earlier this week the state reached the milestone of 55% of residents 16 and up […]

FDA green lights Pfizer vaccine for kids 12-15, with CDC still to act

BY: - May 11, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday signed off on expanding the use of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to children ages 12 to 15, clearing one key hurdle before that age group can begin receiving the two-shot vaccine. But another step is needed before tweens and teens can line up for shots. The […]


Families say athletic bans would exact a toll on rural transgender youth

BY: - April 1, 2021

Katy Binstead’s 13-year-old transgender daughter, Emily Wilson, enjoyed playing basketball recreationally this past summer. When school reopened, she decided to try out for the girls basketball team at her middle school on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The school denied Emily the chance, her mother recalled, telling her to try out for the boys team instead, […]

‘It’s going to be a lifesaver’: Here’s how the new child tax credit expansion works 

BY: - March 19, 2021

When U.S. President Joe Biden signed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan into law last week, setting up millions of families across the country to receive regular monthly payments as part of the child tax credit expansion, Anthony Queen breathed a sigh of relief.  Help, the father of an 8-year-old son thought, is on the […]