Families march to Marquette County Courthouse to rally for child care spending

Children's March
Children's March(Stephen DeLadurantaye)
Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 7:49 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - U.P. families marched for a cause Tuesday evening.

Great Start Parent Coalition and We the People Michigan teamed up to host a Children’s March. The groups met in front of the Marquette County Courthouse to rally and march for more spending on child care and child wellbeing.

When Marquette County received nearly $13 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, some families were disappointed to find out that only $100,000 went to childcare.

“We think that instead of doing the courthouse renovations and other areas that they’re designating far more money to,” said Shilpa Jhobalia, Great Start Parent Coalition parent liaison. “We would like them to reconsider that allocation and increase that funding. […] We have to really come together as a community and find tangible, creative solutions to meet everyone’s needs.”

After the march, families gave public input at the Marquette County Commissioners’ meeting about their grievances. Gerry Corkin, Marquette County Board Chair, responded by saying that child care is not the Marquette County government’s main responsibility.

“It’s not Marquette County’s main duty to provide child care for all of Marquette County,” said Corkin. “You don’t know what you’re talking about. It’s not our responsibility. We will cooperate with the federal dollars to help solve the problem. But, [our job] is not to provide child care for all of Marquette County when you’re talking about millions and millions of dollars to do it.”