Stay Engaged

Simply enter your email below to receive our weekly email:


As part of our efforts on government transparency, we obtained data on the compensation of most public employees in the state. This information has been used to fact check claims about salaries, verify data from other open records requests, and hold government spending accountable.

Related Sites

Foreign Trade More Important To Michigan Than Any Other State

Two University of Michigan economics professors independently reported that foreign trade plays a larger role in Michigan’s economy than in any other state in the nation. … more

Put ISD Funding on Education Budget Table

Gov. Rick Snyder has pitted a generous increase in overall student funding against cuts to certain kinds of educational services some families prefer. But it doesn't have to be an either-or proposition; there are other options that could be put on the table. … more

Sponsor Of Medicaid Work Requirements: They’re The ‘Right Thing To Do’

Republicans in the Michigan House and Senate have introduced bills requiring state health and welfare officials to ask permission from the federal government to impose certain training or work requirements as a condition of getting Medicaid health benefits. … more

Supreme Court Eyes Unions Politicking With Fees Compelled From Workers

Largely underreported is the fact that U.S. unions spent $1.7 billion during the 2016 election cycle, according to an analysis by the National Institute for Labor Relations Research. … more

Property Tax Revenue On a Slow Rise

The largest source of revenue for local governments is property taxes. They raised $14.0 billion for the state, schools, community colleges and local governments in 2017, a 2.42 percent increase from the previous year.  … more

School District Gets More From State For Fewer Students, Super Calls It Inadequate

Another public school official in Michigan is talking about inadequate state funding as one of the reasons his district is financially strapped. … more

Union Official Says Teachers In Second-Highest Paying District Need Second Jobs

The teachers union president at the Michigan school district with the state’s second-highest paid teachers says many of those teachers must work second jobs to “make ends meet.” … more

An Apparent Political Panic In Response To University Sex Abuse Scandal

The Michigan Legislature have introduced at least 30 bills and resolutions related to the Michigan State University sexual abuse scandal involving Larry Nassar. … more

Whitmer ‘Tired Of ... Corporate Tax Giveaways’ But Voted For Dozens

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gretchen Whitmer has tried to play both sides of the fence when it comes to her position on corporate welfare. … more

Noteworthy In 2017: School Pensions Reformed, No Annual Contribution Shortfall

For the first time in eight years, the state of Michigan put more money into its public schools employees’ pension fund than accounting rules require. Contributing less than that in most years is how a pension funding shortfall has grown large. … more

Under the Utica Community Schools teachers' contract, a teacher deemed “ineffective” can collect as much as $26,000 more each year than a colleague of equivalent seniority who is rated “highly effective.” The difference is due to extra compensation given to teachers who have accumulated academic credentials beyond a basic bachelors degree requirement, which is a common practice statewide.

The non-profit public policy think tank Brookings Institution stated, "the fact that teachers with master’s degrees are no more effective in the classroom, on average, than their colleagues without advanced degrees is one of the most consistent findings in education research."

… more

For the Record

A recent story in The Atlantic magazine about private versus public schools used examples from Michigan to illustrate some of its arguments, but was significantly out of date. … more
When it comes to Michigan's poor performance on standardized tests, perhaps more money isn't the solution. … more
A Utica Community Schools board member says the current way the state funds schools is broken. … more
An AFSCME union laywer made a quip about public sector salaries. Richard Trumka, the president of the national AFSCME, had his total compensation in 2017 increase to $315,368, a 7 percent raise from 2016. … more
The Center For Michigan's Truth Squad said it was hard to determine if the DeVos family profits from their involvement with a charter school. The Truth Squad failed to mention the DeVos family would be breaking the law if they did. … more
The United Automobile Workers union, or UAW, appears to be gaining new members by organizing graduate research students at colleges. … more
Across the state of Michigan, 61,000 people say they commute to work using public transit services; 96,000 people walk and 4 million people drive. … more
Gov. Rick Snyder presented his annual state budget recommendations to the Legislature on Feb. 7. They include a proposal to increase public school spending by $312 million, or as much as $240 per pupil. Reaction from school officials was mixed. … more
When the police have a reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed they are permitted to seize a person’s property as evidence, or as part of an investigation. … more
Michigan House Minority Leader Sam Singh, D-East Lansing, recently touted a new report on school finance that claims Michigan’s public schools are underfunded. … more