The Michigan Education Association published a recent article on its website claiming poverty in Michigan is growing.

The article stated:

“Ray Telman, executive director of the Middle Cities Education Association, noted several recent studies that concluded Michigan’s school funding is inadequate. Meanwhile, poverty in the state is growing, and state lawmakers want to punish high-needs schools rather than providing resources, he said.”

“‘Poverty matters, not as an excuse but as a guide for when we put our system together,’ Telman said.”

ForTheRecord says: Official measurements show poverty has been falling in this state since 2011, when figures indicated 17.5 percent of the state population — some 1.69 million residents — had incomes below the federal poverty level. Those numbers dropped to 15.8 percent and 1.53 million in 2015, the most recent year for which data is available from the U.S. Census Bureau.

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As part of our efforts on government transparency, we obtained data on the compensation of most public employees in the state. This information has been used to fact check claims about salaries, verify data from other open records requests, and hold government spending accountable.

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