The Michigan Education Association, which represents a majority of the teachers in the state (who happen to be the highest paid in the nation when compared to relative state wealth), held a demonstration at the state Capitol yesterday to lobby for more money.
The union has even produced television and radio ads claiming teachers are treated like "punching bags" by the Legislature, but as this video shows, the MEA's claims do not meet muster when it comes to a basic fact-check.
Mike Van Beek, director of education policy, also explores common myths about public school funding, including the foundation allowance and claims of school employee "concessions."
The Center's school employee health insurance database reveals that teachers on average pay less than 4 percent toward the cost of their own premiums, while the statewide average for all employees in Michigan is 22 percent. Teachers in some 300 plans across Michigan contribute nothing to the cost of their own health insurance.
A similar rally was held in 2005. That year, according to the Michigan Department of Education, total revenue for public schools from all sources was $20.41 billion (in 2009 dollars), or $11,953 per student. In 2009, total revenue was $20.79 billion, or $12,838 per student. More information on that can be found here, here and here.