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Detroit Prep is a top-rated and economically and racially diverse charter school in the city. It's growth means it needs to move out from a church basement and into a new location. Nearby is a former Detroit Public Schools building, sitting empty for years. But, worried about competition, the public school district refused to sell. For years, district and local government officials in Detroit had worked to block public charter schools. They pushed legislation at the Michigan Capitol to hinder them, refused to sell to them, transferred surplus buildings from the district to the city government and imposed deed restrictions on property sales to private developers. All of it was aimed to hinder or even prevent charter school choice outside the confines of the Detroit school district.

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For the Record

Jack Smith, a professor of educational psychology at Michigan State University, recently claimed that inadequate school funding is one reason for poor academic performance by public schools in this state. … more
Liza Parkinson is the president of the Utica Community Schools teachers' union. She works a second job and says teachers need to do that to support their families. Parkinson made $107,402 in 2016-17. … more
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan talked about the exodus of students from his city’s public school district at a state policy conference held this week on Mackinac Island. … more
There may be several ways to measure the extent to which caring about something is demonstrated by a political system or society. … more
Michigan news media rarely challenge union assertions that school funding has been cut in Michigan. … more
Government employees in this country — at the local, state and federal level, as well as school and state university employees — have not suffered economically in this century. … more
State Sen. Coleman Young II, D-Detroit, claimed in an April 17 op-ed published by the Traverse City Record-Eagle that more people in Michigan have fallen into poverty during the tenure of Gov. Rick Snyder. … more
One state report said Michigan's golf courses use 7.6 billion gallons of water a year. Nestle will use as much as 210 million gallons a year. Where's the outrage about golf courses? … more
Michigan Sen. David Knezek, D-Dearborn Heights, snarked on Twitter recently about a bill that makes it a little easier for people to earn money by shampooing hair. … more
A recent story in The Atlantic magazine about private versus public schools used examples from Michigan to illustrate some of its arguments, but was significantly out of date. … more