School spending — an area of expertise for Mackinac Center analysts — continues to dominate the headlines.

A Kalamazoo Gazette story about school district consolidation cites the Center's 2009 school privatization survey, which showed that almost 45 percent of school districts in Michigan were saving money by privatizing non-instructional services. The story also refers to a 2007 study by Andrew Coulson, an adjunct scholar with the Center, which examines consolidation. Coulson found that there is a potential for cost savings for districts based on an optimal size of 2,900 students, but ultimately consolidation would not save enough money to consider it as a serious strategy.

The Detroit Legal News reprinted a Viewpoint by Patrick Wright, director of the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation, about a lawsuit filed by the Michigan Education Association teachers union over school retiree health benefit costs.

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Michigan Capitol Confidential reports that school districts, by law, must start posting salary information on their websites.

"I think it's great. This is something we've been pushing for years now," Mike Van Beek, director of education policy, told Capitol Confidential. "It will give citizens the ability to go in and hold their school districts accountable."

Van Beek, who wrote this Oakland Press Op-Ed, has also addressed other school funding questions here, and has done extensive analyses of teacher contracts from several districts statewide.


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