Almost half of Michigan students are from low-income families, study shows

Nearly half of Michigan’s public school students live in low-income households, according to a new report released by the Southern Education Foundation.

According to the study, 46 percent of Michigan students are eligible for the federal free and reduced lunch program. That’s lower than the national average of 48 percent, but higher than other Midwest states like Ohio (42.7), Wisconsin (39.2), Minnesota (36.2) and Iowa (38.7).

“Low income students are more likely than students from wealthier families to have lower tests scores, fall behind in school, drop out, and fail to acquire a college degree,” the Southern Education Foundation said in its report. “These gaps in learning and achievement have not improved in recent years, while the numbers of low-income students have escalated” throughout the nation.

The percentage of low-income students in the Midwest has increased by 40 percent in the past 10 years — the highest rate of growth in the nation, according to the study.

Click here to read the full study.