'The Overton Window': Made in Michigan

July 2010    V2010-19

The title of a new best-selling novel, "The Overton Window," draws on a concept created by the late Joseph Overton, formerly senior vice president of the Mackinac Center.

Are Public Schools Underfunded? No

July 2010    V2010-20

Figures disprove claims that Michigan public schools are "underfunded."

Tax Hikes Kill Jobs and Tax Cuts Create Them

July 2010    V2010-21

New economic projections suggest Gov. Jennifer Granholm's proposed tax increases will destroy thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in wages.

MEA Lawsuit on Retiree Benefits Misguided

August 2010           V2010-2

A Michigan Education Association lawsuit arguing that public school retirees' health benefits are a right protected by the Michigan Constitution flies in the face of a century of court decisions.

Oakland County Gives Local Governments Something to Shoot For

August 2010           V2010-23

Michigan's Public Employment Relations Act constrains municipal government and costs taxpayers money, but Oakland County has shown that there are effective ways to work around it.

The Unequal Funding Myth

August 2010           V2010-24

One of the common myths in public education is that funding between districts is not equitable. Proposal A was meant to greatly reduce funding disparities and has succeeded; spending differences between districts is smaller than ever before.

The School Employee Concession Myth

September 2010     V2010-25

School employees on the whole have not saved taxpayers money through contract concessions and have remained relatively shielded from Michigan's economic downturn. Michigan's teachers are the nation's highest-paid when compared to state wealth.

The Sales Tax and Lottery Myth

September 2010     V2010-26

Over the last 15 years, the portion of total school revenues from the 6 percent state sales tax and the state-run lottery has steadily decreased. In 1995, they contributed 32 percent and 5 percent, respectively. In 2010, they're expected to make up just 21 percent and 3.5 percent of all school funds.

The Unstable Funding Myth

September 2010     V2010-27

For the past century, funding for public schools has moved in one steady direction — up. Despite some policies that make school budgeting more difficult than it needs to be in Michigan, school funding has proven to be remarkably stable.

Common School Funding Myths

September 2010     V2010-28

Public school funding in Michigan is complex, often generating myths about how the various pieces fit together. An ongoing series by Mackinac Center Education Policy Director Michael Van Beek examines these myths and separates fact from fiction.



Michigan Capitol Confidential


Key stories: Public employee pay, stimulus spending, wind energy, Michigan film subsidies.



Environmental Regulation in Michigan: A Blueprint for Reform


Russ Harding, senior environmental analyst and director of the Property Rights Network, lays out the problems Michigan faces in attracting and retaining jobs due to faulty environmental permitting and regulatory abuses and how to correct those problems.




Michael LaFaive, director of the Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative, on Fox News discussing the city of Ann Arbor's plans to spend $850,000 on a sculpture to be placed across the street from a fire station — after the city announced budget cuts and firefighter layoffs.


The Foundation Allowance Myth

A look at how the foundation allowance works and the myths surrounding public school funding.


The Overton Window

Mackinac Center President Joseph G. Lehman discussing the Overton Window with talk show host Glenn Beck on his radio and television programs.

The Granholm-AFSCME Partnership

Evidence — including footage of Gov. Jennifer Granholm at a 2008 AFSCME rally — shows the executive office was in fact deeply involved in the forced unionization of home-based day care providers.