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Tue January 24, 2012
Report: uptick in poverty, abuse
By Laura Weber, Michigan Public Radio Network
LANSING, MI –
About one-fourth of kids in Michigan live in poverty. That's according to the Kids Count report from the Michigan League for Human Services. The report says the percent of kids living in poverty and "extreme poverty" has risen dramatically in the past decade, as has the rate of kids who qualify for free or reduced-price school lunches.
Jane Zehnder-Merrell is with the League. She says poverty is pervasive throughout the state. "There's sort of a perception out there of if people would just look for a job then they wouldn't have to rely on public support," Zehnder-Merrell says. "But when you look at what's happened throughout Michigan counties and their employment rates, it's a pretty staggering picture thinking about trying to look for a job in this job market."
Zehnder-Merrell says the good news from the report is teen births continue to decline. The number of teen deaths and the rate of high school dropouts are also declining.