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Survey: Michigan ranked low for child well-being

There are four categories that make up the rating in the 2022 Kids Count Data Book. Michigan is below at least half of the states in every one of them.

The categories are economic stability, education, healthcare, and family or community factors, said Alex Rossman, spokesperson with the Michigan League for Public Policy.

Michigan scored worst in education, placing 40th.

“Even though we’re still ranked relatively low, we relatively have improved in most of the categories since 2008 to 2012 compared to now," he said. "So we are trending in the right direction, it’s more so that we’re not keeping up with our peer states.”

It’s hard to tell if the third grade reading law had an effect because the data is from fourth graders, Rossman said.

And the data was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, but in surprising ways. Rossman said it affected kids on more than just mental health.

"The expansion of the child tax credit and the federal earned income tax credit help set families weather those tough times. And, again, the question of whether we continue those expansions after the pandemic subsides," he said.

The Michigan League for Public Policy is working to lobby state legislators to present bills that push Michigan further ahead in both education and tax credits, Rossman said.