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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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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