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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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Michigan public school teachers are the highest-paid in the nation when the local cost of living is factored into comparisons. In terms of its purchasing power, the average Michigan teacher pay of $63,878 is equivalent to $71,773 elsewhere.

That’s what a nonprofit called EdBuild discovered when National Public Radio asked it to investigate. The organization used 2015-16 average salaries from every state to do the calculations.

… more

For the Record

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private versus public schools used examples from Michigan to illustrate some of its arguments, but was significantly out of date.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
When it comes to Michigan's poor performance on standardized tests, perhaps more money isn't the solution. … more
A Utica Community Schools board member says the current way the state funds schools is broken. … more
An AFSCME union laywer made a quip about public sector salaries. Richard Trumka, the president of the national AFSCME, had his total compensation in 2017 increase to $315,368, a 7 percent raise from 2016. … more
The Center For Michigan's Truth Squad said it was hard to determine if the DeVos family profits from their involvement with a charter school. The Truth Squad failed to mention the DeVos family would be breaking the law if they did. … more
The United Automobile Workers union, or UAW, appears to be gaining new members by organizing graduate research students at colleges. … more
Across the state of Michigan, 61,000 people say they commute to work using public transit services; 96,000 people walk and 4 million people drive. … more
Gov. Rick Snyder presented his annual state budget recommendations to the Legislature on Feb. 7. They include a proposal to increase public school spending by $312 million, or as much as $240 per pupil. Reaction from school officials was mixed. … more
When the police have a reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed they are permitted to seize a person’s property as evidence, or as part of an investigation. … more
Michigan House Minority Leader Sam Singh, D-East Lansing, recently touted a new report on school finance that claims Michigan’s public schools are underfunded. … more