(WJBK) The State of Michigan is laying down some new rules when it comes to welfare. If you’re a parent of school age children, they better attend class regularly or you risk losing your benefits.
If your child is truant missing more than ten days of school, your family’s welfare cash benefits will be cut off.
The Michigan Department of Human Services is keeping tabs on kids ages six to 15 years old who will now have to prove they attended school. Threatening to take away state aid is expected to make parents more responsible.
“Our whole goal is that we’re going to increase academic success for children,” said Sheryl Thompson with the Department of Human Services. “We’re going to have higher graduation rates because the most important thing with this also is that we want to end generational poverty and it starts by increasing our educational values.”
Detroit Public Schools has one of the largest truancy rates in the state. Critics of the new crackdown don’t see the connection.
Maureen Taylor, head of the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization, believes the plan unfairly targets low income families since they are not the only ones who aren’t going to school.
The policy change takes effect two days before Michigan’s fall count day when attendance is used to determine the funding a school district gets from the state.
Thompson said the state does plan to work with families and they can get their benefits back if the state gets verification that the student has been back in school for 21 consecutive calendar days.
Also check out more on this policy in the Detroit News