The Bureau of Economic Analysis recently released a key measure of economic growth that showed Michigan has gone more than a decade without increased production. New gross domestic product figures, a measure of the value of an area’s goods and services production, showed that Michigan’s economy produced 8 percent less in 2009 than it did in 2000 when adjusted for inflation. The nation rose 15 percent during this period.

Michigan now ranks 42nd in per capita state Gross Domestic Product, the measure of goods and services production, down from 21st in 2000.

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The state performed worse than every other state but Nevada and Arizona in per capita GDP growth from 2008 to 2009.

While there have been some signs of improvement in Michigan’s economy lately, figures like this show just how much Michigan has struggled.

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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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