VIEWPOINTS

Michigan Schools Contract Out More Than Ever

October 2010         V2010-29

School contracting increased 8 percent over the last year, according to the Mackinac Center’s 2010 School Privatization Survey. Nearly 49 percent of public school districts in Michigan now contract out for one of the three main support services.

Consolidating School Districts Won’t Save Michigan $600 Million

October 2010         V2010-30

Policymakers should focus on pension reform and expensive contractual costs, not flawed consolidation studies, if they want to truly focus on reducing costs in public schools.

Choice and Privatization Reform for Basic Welfare Services

October 2010         V2010-31

Privatizing welfare services is an option that could help Michigan.

MEGA “GlobalWatt” Deal Raises Questions

November 2010         V2010-32

Misinformation on Michigan Economic Growth Authority grant applications underscores the need for greater scrutiny and accountability in the program. If state government won’t stop picking winners and losers in the marketplace, then those in charge must perform due diligence in vetting the applications.

It Shouldn’t Take a Superhero to Fix Public Education

November 2010      V2010-33

Those who want to reform public education, from both the left and the right, must realize they face a common obstacle in teachers unions. Children’s education will improve when we return teachers to the status of professionals, rather than interchangeable parts.

Hydraulic Fracturing the Key to Michigan’s Energy Future

November 2010      V2010-34

Hydraulic fracturing has been used since the 1940s as a way to extract natural gas from deep below the earth’s surface. Michigan cannot afford to limit this technology as an important way to provide affordable and dependable energy.

 

STUDIES

Reforming Michigan’s Auto Insurance Industry

Michigan auto insurance premiums are among the highest in the nation. Past legislative attempts to keep premiums down unfortunately focused on price controls and regulations. Real reform would address the source of high premiums: no-fault insurance and mandatory insurance requirements.

Michigan’s Public-Employee Retirement Benefits: Benchmarking and Managing Benefits and Costs

S2010-05

The Michigan Public School Employees’ Retirement System, known as “MPSERS,” provides both pension and retiree health care benefits to eligible public school employees. As of Sept. 30, 2009, the most recent date for which data are available, MPSERS and MSERS pensions had unfunded liabilities of $15.1 billion.

2010 School Privatization Survey

S2010-06

Nearly 49 percent of all public school districts in Michigan contract out for one of the three main support services – busing, transportation or custodial – and 8 percent more districts are contracting out this year compared to last year. First-year savings from new contracts this year are expected to save schools more than $16 million.

 

JOURNALS

Michigan Capitol Confidential

MCC2010-04

Key stories: Ann Arbor budgeting, state audit, government transparency, county land banks.

 

VIDEO 

The School Employee Concession Myth

School employees on the whole have not saved taxpayers money through contract concessions and have remained relatively shielded from Michigan's economic downturn.

An Evening With the Mackinac Center

Video from An Evening With the Mackinac Center event held on Oct. 14, 2010, featuring Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson as the speaker with advice for the new governor.

GlobalWatt’s the Deal?

Concerns over the state subsidies given to a solar panel company.

The Alternatives

A panel discussion on how the new media are transforming the political landscape.

Virtual Learning Forum

A discussion hosted by the Mackinac Center about the benefits and future of online education.