Learn more about the pension problem at: www.mackinac.org/pensions

The non-profit Michigan Association of School Administrators, which advocates for conventional public schools, sent out a handout that claimed the reforms to the public school employee pension system that started in 2008 are working.

The handout stated: “Since 2008, the state of Michigan has made three significant reforms to reduce pension costs. These reforms worked, considerably decreasing normal costs. However, liabilities that accrued prior to these reforms are now significantly underfunded and still represent the bulk of the state’s and school districts’ pension costs.”

ForTheRecord says: Since the 2010 reforms, unfunded liabilities in the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System have increased from $12.0 billion to $29.1 billion.

The Michigan Association of School Administrators gets some of its money from membership fees paid by many of the 700 public school districts in Michigan. For example, Lansing Public Schools paid MASA $2,787 in fees in 2015-16.

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There aren’t many policies that get near unanimous support from economists, but free trade is one of them. Despite this, a central theme of the 2016 presidential campaign, heard from both political parties, was that free trade was somehow harmful to the United States and corrective action was needed. Mark Perry, an economics professor at the University of Michigan-Flint and scholar with the American Enterprise Institute, makes the case for why President Trump’s assessment of free trade is misguided.

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