An interesting story on the statewide news site MLive took a deeper look at changes in teacher salaries, and how broad averages can be misleading. The headline reported that the average teacher salary at all Michigan school districts had fallen from $63,024 in the 2009-10 school year to $61,978 last year.

The story explained how the figure could be skewed by the retirement of large numbers of employees in the top salary tier, who were replaced by younger teachers who are in lower salary tiers.

ForTheRecord says: Analysis of teacher salaries can be tricky. The “headline” figures on statewide averages may create a false impression that individual teachers have been getting pay cuts ever since 2009. In the coming days Michigan Capitol Confidential will look more closely at teacher salaries over the past five years, examining district-level salary information acquired through Freedom of Information Act requests.

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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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