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Superintendent Concerned Teachers Will Bolt After Pay Cuts

The head of the Waterford School District said there is concern among top district administrators that a prolonged salary freeze could lead to a loss of teachers.  … more

Teacher Left Michigan Education Association and Has No Regrets

Rosemary Stawasz, a special education teacher with the Van Buren Intermediate School District, worried about what would happen if she exercised her new right to not be forced to financially support the local teachers union. … more

Michigan House Passes Package Repealing Outdated Laws

There are over 3,000 criminal statutes in Michigan, but a recent unanimous vote in the Michigan House will trim that number, eliminating several outdated laws in the first step toward simplifying the state’s enormous penal code. … more

While Schools Ignore Merit Pay Law, State Has No Authority to Enforce It

Many public school districts have refused to reward its best teachers with "merit pay" in the five years since a state law was passed mandating the practice. That's in part because the Michigan Department of Education doesn't track whether the practice is followed and has no authority to enforce the law. … more

Protecting Detroit School Choice is Critical

Some people have floated all-encompassing proposals that would dramatically change the operations of both Detroit Public Schools and Detroit-area public charter schools. To make sure the solution fits the problem at hand, it is necessary to consider the financial and academic issues facing DPS separately. … more

Myths and Exaggerations About Teacher Pay

Rachel Brougham recently left her job as the assistant news editor of the Petoskey News-Review but continues to write for the daily newspaper. In her most recent column published Friday, Brougham celebrates public school teachers, but does so by repeating some common media myths and exaggerations about teacher compensation. … more

Here's a Look at Key Road Funding Votes of 2015

On August 18 and 19 the Michigan House and Senate met in an unsuccessful effort to negotiate the differences between road funding bills each has passed. In the end they appointed a House-Senate conference committee to craft a compromise. This edition of the Roll Call Report repeats the latest key road funding votes by each body, which were taken in June and July. … more

Michigan's Obamacare Medicaid Expansion

In 2013, the Michigan Legislature passed a bill expanding Medicaid, a core component of the federal Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. Recent news reports have focused on one of the incentives, $50 Wal-Mart gift cards for Medicaid clients who, in essence, “follow the doctor’s orders.” … more

Michigan Education Association Has Lost 34,000 Members in Last 10 Years

In 2005, the Michigan Education Association had 130,882 voting (active) members, including teachers and support professionals. According to recent disclosure documents, in 2015 the state's largest teachers union has 96,561 members, a decline of about 34,000 since 2005, or 26 percent. … more

'Simon Says': Teacher Union Toys with Members Wanting Out, Demands Request Go to 'Stealth' P.O. Box

In an apparent effort to make it even more difficult or even stop school employees from exercising their right under right-to-work to not pay union dues or fees, the state’s largest teachers union has quietly set up an obscure post office box address to which members must send the required opt-out paperwork. … more

For the Record

Detroit Free Press columnist Nancy Kaffer recently wrote that charter schools “aren’t doing the job” in the effort to reform public schools. However, researchers at Stanford University say charter schools in Detroit should serve as models of success for the rest of the country. … more
A Michigan Public Radio story about a short-term spike in fatal car crashes didn't mention a 50-year trend that has seen dramatically lower overall traffic death rates. … more
A local MEA union was insulting more of its members who were considering opting out of the union under the right-to-work law. … more
Filmmakers wanted a post-cataclysmic setting for a movie and found what they were looking for in Detroit. And they got a $140,000 check. The director posted a shot of dilapidated building with "#Detroit." … more
Grand Rapids Public Schools Superintendent Teresa Weatherall Neal says the district has “cut $100 million from our budget” as part of a "transformation plan." But the financial audits tell a different story. … more
Someone else is claiming that the "renewable energy" economy has created new "green" jobs - like garbage collectors, bus drivers and plumbers. … more
New Michigan public schools superintendent Brian Whiston has said that he thinks teachers need to make more money, especially the one just starting out. But its the teachers' unions that prevent quality young teachers from starting anywhere but the bottom of the payscale. … more
Jack Lessenberry, a columnist for National Public Radio's Michigan affiliate, compares state universities to slaves and state lawmakers to plantation owners in a dispute over student tuition hikes. … more
MLive Columnist Tim Skubick appears to have forgotten that the state projects it will be getting a whole lot more money in tax revenue the next two years. … more
State Rep. Rose Mary Robinson said she would vote against the state's film subsidies. She followed through and by doing so stood against every other Democrat. … more