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Participants in the 2016 Detroit Children's Business Fair show their grasp on how markets work. Featured are responses to the such thoughts as hoarding profit for personal gain, penalizing those who earn more and regulating private business.

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Wake-Up Call Helps Rural School Bloom

A state label served as a wake-up call for one rural Southwest Michigan district. Today, its high school stands out as one of the top academic performers in the state. … more

Taxpayer Funded Electioneering in Full Swing Before May 2 Tax Votes

Dozens of school districts across the state will put property tax renewals or increases before voters next Tuesday, May 2. Many are delivering pre-election pitches that clearly advocate for a yes vote but nevertheless stay within the law by avoiding a forbidden phrase: “Vote yes.” … more

Secretive Bidder Wins Pure Michigan Contract Over Transparent One

For many years, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation has always selected a friendly vendor to calculate the return on investment of its state tourism promotion funding effort (Pure Michigan), rather than seek bids from several possible choices.  … more

Pension Funding Best Practices Remembered 

State officials are ignoring a large number of best practices when it suits them in regards to the public school employees retirement system. … more

Wind Industry Titan Soaks Up Billions in Tax Subsidies

A renewable energy company that is worth $60 billion — and hasn’t paid federal income taxes for the last seven years — is among the country’s largest recipients of federal subsidies. It’s also suing a small Michigan township as it seeks to take advantage of a state law for its financial gain. … more

Regulatory Swamp-Draining Gets Boost In Washington

President Donald Trump has nominated George Mason University law professor Neomi Rao to head the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs within the Office of Management and Budget.  … more

Criminal Justice Reforms Signed Into Law, More Left to Do

A set of 18 bills recently signed into law will improve public safety and put Michigan on the track to administer criminal justice more efficiently, but there is still more work to do.  … more

Official Collects Six-Figure Pay From Multiple Cities Simultaneously

Accountant Carl Johnson has held down three high-level positions in three different cities at the same time — and collected hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars in the process. … more

What’s Old is New Again: Another Subsidy Program Being Considered by Legislature

April 18 is tax day in America, and in Michigan it’s also the 22nd anniversary of a failed corporate subsidy program known as MEGA, or the Michigan Economic Growth Authority. … more

While Schools Try Fiscal Responsibility, Union Sets Up Protests

Two school districts with a history of running budget deficits are encountering union demonstrations as they try to reach contract agreements. Clintondale and Richmond are operating without a current teachers contract as administrators and union representatives clash over compensation, working conditions and union perks. … more

Accountant Carl Johnson has held high-pay, high-responsibility positions for three different southeast Michigan municipalities — simultaneously. The Canton man works as the finance director for the city of Novi, which pays him $120,100 a year. As an outside contractor, he fills the same position for the city of River Rouge at $150,000 a year. That’s a combined $270,100 a year for the two jobs.

Johnson has also has applied for the controller position at Northfield Township, advertised at 20 hours per week. If the two full-time jobs with their six-figure pay require 40 hours per week each, and the part-time gig adds 20 hours more, Johnson would have to work more than 14 hours a day, seven days a week to meet the combined 100 hours per week.

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For the Record

An Ann Arbor Public Schools official said if the state took half of the money the prison system received and gave it to schools, there wouldn't be a crime problem. But the state has done that. … more
A teachers' union claimed its teachers took a 30 percent pay cut. The salary database doesn't back their claim. … more
Gubernatorial candidate Gretchen Whitmer said she won't close the worst public schools in the nation. But she wants to close poor performing charter schools. … more
The latest count for enrollment for the reconstituted Detroit public school district shows that it has lost even more students and has perhaps the lowest enrollment in its history. … more
The New Yorker says it is fighting fake news. But can it make that claim with misleading graphics? … more
A Democrat said one thing to a reporter but voted differently on corporate welfare. … more
The Michigan Department of Treasury erroneously sent a $14.5 million check to a company in 2016. The money was almost certainly part of the $672.8 million in secret corporate welfare checks the state expects to send to favored businesses in the current fiscal year. … more
Michigan’s per capita personal income grew faster than that of 40 other states in 2016. Regionally, only Indiana saw incomes rise faster. (Indiana adopted right-to-work a year before Michigan.) … more
Most of the political establishment in Lansing appears determined never to acknowledge that the state budget has risen every year since 2010-11. … more
Flint filmmaker Michael Moore predicted the extinction of human life due to President Donald Trump's latest executive order. … more