Gov. Jennifer Granholm Wednesday asked citizens in her first State of the State address to step forward to care for seniors, children and the poor as she looks for ways to trim the state budget.
Granholm is dealing with a deficit of more than $290 million in the current year and a shortfall that could approach two billion dollars in the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1.
To improve early childhood education, she plans to team high schools with day care centers so students can read to children for a half-hour a day.
She also announced several partnerships with the private sector to create jobs and improve education.
Among her educational initiatives, the Great Lakes Scholarship Fund would guarantee scholarships to low-income middle school students who promise to graduate from high school and get additional education.
The money for the $2,000-per-student scholarships would come first from foundations, and then be supplemented with state funds as the budget situation improves.