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W. K. Kellogg Foundation

Battle Creek Central High School Building
Battle Creek CVB / Flickr CC / HTTP://BIT.LY/1RFRZRK

Michigan's school choice policy has opened the door for thousands of parents across the state to take their kids out of their home school district and go to schools in neighboring districts.

That shift of students from mainly poorer urban districts to better-off suburban schools has created big financial challenges for the urban districts.

Take Battle Creek Public Schools, where shrinking enrollment meant a $20 million cut in state funding.

Battle Creek Central High School Building
Battle Creek CVB / Flickr CC / HTTP://BIT.LY/1RFRZRK

Battle Creek Public Schools is getting an extra $51 million to spend over the next five years. 

The money comes in the form of a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. It represents about a 20% annual increase in funding for the district, compared to the current budget.

"Today we are saying we want to support and target our support where the need is the greatest," said Lajune Montgomery Tabron, president of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. "So that our hometown will rise and thrive."

Sono Tamaki / Creative Commons

A program that’s showing signs of progress in reducing low birth weight and infant deaths among African-Americans is getting a major vote of confidence. The W. K. Kellogg Foundation has awarded a $4.5 million grant to a program in Grand Rapids called Strong Beginnings.

The program has reduced the number of black infant deaths in Grand Rapids by more than 20 percent in five years. 

Peggy Vander Meulen is executive director of Strong Beginnings.