The head of the largest teachers’ union in the state has a history of making factually incorrect statements in his periodic column that runs in the Detroit News.

In the Labor Voices July 23 column in the Detroit News, Michigan Education Association President Steve Cook wrote:

“Today, 50 traditional public school districts are in deficit. This is a direct result of the $1 billion cut to public education Gov. Rick Snyder pushed through in his first year in office.”

Cook is wrong on two points.

There are 45 public schools in deficit, according to the last report released in June by the Michigan Department of Education.

Overall, state and federal funding for K-12 education has increased from $12.7 billion in 2011-12 to $13.4 billion in 2013-14, according to the Senate Fiscal Agency. The state dollars spent on K-12 education has increased every year Snyder has been in office going from $11.01 billion in 2011-12 to $11.21 billion in 2012-13 to $11.60 billion in 2013-14.

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The Republican Party fully controls most states and at the national level has captured the House, Senate and presidency. By many measures, the party has more power than it has had in many decades. But will that control last? And, more importantly, what policy priorities are coming about from these political victories?

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