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

Want Money For Roads? Take It from This Failing Program

Michigan lawmakers are in the midst of putting together the state’s budget for the next fiscal year. There is a push to put more money into roads and infrastructure. But one easy place to cut and shift the funding is the Michigan Business Development Program. … more

Number of State Employees Down, Amount of State Payroll Up

While the number of full-time employees working for the state of Michigan increased slightly in 2017, the rise was a blip on a long-term trend of fewer people working directly for the state.  … more

State of Michigan Spins, Puffs Economic Contribution Of Agriculture To Economy

The state’s department of agriculture recently tweeted a claim that may have greatly exaggerated the true impact of agriculture on the state’s economy. … more

Salt Bill Would Raises Prices On All To Benefit One Company

The Michigan Senate came together on a bill that raises costs for all citizens to benefit one select company. … more

Most Michigan Schools Surveyed Still Buying Union’s Costlier Health Insurance

Health insurance costs for public school employees have increased for the past two years, after a five-year period when they were kept in check. … more

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

Michigan public school teachers are the highest-paid in the nation when the local cost of living is factored into comparisons. In terms of its purchasing power, the average Michigan teacher pay of $63,878 is equivalent to $71,773 elsewhere.

That’s what a nonprofit called EdBuild discovered when National Public Radio asked it to investigate. The organization used 2015-16 average salaries from every state to do the calculations.

… 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