News Bite

Media Group Gets Teacher Data From Union, Not State, Publishes Different Numbers

In a story about an alleged statewide teacher shortage, the news site MLive published a statistic provided by state’s largest teachers union that understates the number of public school teachers in Michigan.

The MLive story stated, “According to data collected by the teachers union, there are currently 86,145 public school teachers in Michigan, [MEA spokesman David] Crim said.”

The Michigan Education Association’s headcount number is well below the number provided in state Department of Education data. Figures submitted by school districts to the department show there are 110,788 public school teachers in Michigan, which is 29% more than the union claimed.

According to the state, there are 96,161 full-time equivalent public school teaching positions in Michigan. Some teachers work part time. For example, in 2017, Troy Public Schools posted teaching positions for a “.6 FTE” science teacher, a “.4 FTE” vocal music teacher and a “.8 FTE” middle school resource room teacher.

Editor's note: The headline was changed after publication

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.