The amount of money East Lansing Public Schools is required to pay into the state-run school employee pension system has increased from $3.2 million in 2010 to $4.9 million in 2016, a 53 percent increase in six years. Most of the increase is to "catch up" on past failures to fully fund the system as required by the state constitution.

Had the costs of the underfunded Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System stayed at 2010 levels, the district could have given each of its 219 teachers a 12.2 percent raise in 2016, based on the district's average teacher salary.

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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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