An interesting story on the statewide news site MLive took a deeper look at changes in teacher salaries, and how broad averages can be misleading. The headline reported that the average teacher salary at all Michigan school districts had fallen from $63,024 in the 2009-10 school year to $61,978 last year.

The story explained how the figure could be skewed by the retirement of large numbers of employees in the top salary tier, who were replaced by younger teachers who are in lower salary tiers.

ForTheRecord says: Analysis of teacher salaries can be tricky. The “headline” figures on statewide averages may create a false impression that individual teachers have been getting pay cuts ever since 2009. In the coming days Michigan Capitol Confidential will look more closely at teacher salaries over the past five years, examining district-level salary information acquired through Freedom of Information Act requests.

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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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