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Results 1 to 1260 for the year 2009
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  1. Citizens, Investors and Legislative Circus Poodles

    We all pay a price when government treats investors, entrepreneurs and households as circus poodles made to jump through hoops in order to collect selective tax-break or subsidy "biscuits" handed out at the whim and discretion of bureaucrats and legislators.


     
  2. Blown Away by Former Detroit Mayor James Cavanagh's Ghost

    As Detroit and the rest of Michigan look forward to 2010 and beyond, it might be wise to look back at what economics lessons the experience of the past half-century may provide to guide our future choices.


     
  3. News Release: MichiganVotes.org Offers 2009 "Missed Votes Report"
     
  4. Why State "Economic Central Planning" Fails

    Reams of empirical evidence indicate that when it comes to increasing the prosperity and opportunities of the people in a state, nation or society, government "economic development" programs fall far short of what their proponents advertise. Here are three of the reasons this is true.


     
  5. A Lost Decade for School Budgets?

    A recent Gongwer story (subscription required) paints a dreary portrait of Michigan's education funding over the last decade, or what they term the "lost decade." The article states that since 2000 education "was one of the first budgets hit with cuts and freezes." When it comes to K-12 schools, a broader perspective reveals a different story.


     
  6. Happy Birthday Dr. McCracken

    Happy Birthday, Dr. Paul J. McCracken.


     
  7. Allow Full High School Access to Two-Year Colleges

    Michigan pays twice when high schools and community colleges overlap services and offer the same courses. In addition, studies estimate that community colleges spend one-third of their time providing remedial education, essentially doing the job that high schools are supposed to do. Allowing students to skip some high school extracurricular courses and move on to college earlier would lessen this redundancy and give many students a jump start on job training or a four-year degree.


     
  8. Taking the Initiative on Health Care

    Three similar proposals introduced in the Michigan Legislature this year — House Joint Resolutions Z and CC, and Senate Joint Resolution K — would place recognition of a "Right to Independent Medical Care" in the Michigan Constitution. Specifically, they would establish that "every person has a right to provide for his or her own health care" and prohibit any law or rule that would directly or indirectly "compel any person, employer, or health care provider to participate in any health care system."


     
  9. Focus on the Day Care

    Focus on the Family's weekend news program highlighted the Mackinac Center's legal fight against the DHS's forced unionization of 40,000 day care providers in Michigan.

    Mackinac Center President Joseph Lehman was interviewed for the segment. He commented:

    [U]nion and government officials ... got together and said, "You know, there's a $300 million day care subsidy that's flowing from government to day care providers, and we wanna grab a chunk of that." ... So they concocted a way to siphon off $3.7 million a year from that day care subsidy.

     
  10. Happy Birthday, William Gladstone

    It's the 200th anniversary of William Gladstone's birth. Though Gladstone is the namesake of a small Michigan town, that was not, in fact, his biggest contribution to the world. As a British parliamentarian and prime minister, Gladstone pursued policies to uphold individual freedom and personal responsibility. Michigan could use more statesmen like that.

    To learn more about Gladstone's life and ideas, check out Larry Reed's article.


     
  11. Court to hear e-mail case
    "The Michigan Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments Jan. 5, 2010, in a case involving the public release of teacher union e-mail messages."
     
  12. Profile of a Tea Partier

    Meet the real TEA Party organizers, minus the alleged billionaire masterminds.


     
  13. The Court of Public Opinion

    The Mackinac Center Legal Foundation's suit against the DHS continues to draw national attention.


     
  14. Tenure reform or not?
    "Some lawmakers say this month's changes to the state school code do not do enough to help school districts remove ineffective teachers."
     
  15. Your Favorites: 2009
     
  16. Students spread cheer
    "It's not hard to find Michigan students of all ages volunteering to help others during the holiday season."
     
  17. Hard Science Being Traded for Political Science

    When claims are made that the science on human-caused global warming is "settled," those making such an argument either do not understand the scientific process or they are trying to intentionally manipulate it for their own political agenda.


     
  18. Balancing Their Problems on Our Backs

    The governor and Legislature won't cut their overspending crisis, so Michael LaFaive asks them what part of our own family budgets should we cut to satisfy their thirst for more taxes.


     
  19. ‘Talent search’ in Alpena
    "An educational talent search focused on helping low-income students plan for college and careers resulted in a higher graduation rate and higher college enrollment among participants."
     
  20. Tough Questions to Ask Your School District
     
  21. Busting Your Michigan Industry Myths

    The idea that agriculture is Michigan's second-largest industry is a piece of conventional wisdom often iterated, in fact, so much that a Google search for "second largest industry" returns Michigan's iterations of the idea. Yet this is false. Agriculture is nowhere near as large as most Michigan industries.


     
  22. Alabama Betrayal: Congressman Provides Tea Party Lessons

    The correct lesson to draw from this is that neither political party provides a "right side" or even a "wrong side" on any issue. They will provide you only their side, and if you count on them for defending your principles then you will be betrayed whether their candidates switch labels or not.


     
  23. That Same Old Story

    Michigan schools once again are said to be facing a "funding crisis," and the apparent solution boils down to rounding up more revenue to feed them. The only problem with this simplistic solution is: It. Won't. Work.


     
  24. The Mitten State Waves Goodbye

    Census Bureau figures released today continue to confirm the damaging impact of bad public policy on Michigan this decade.


     
  25. The Health Care Bill Is Full of Stocking Stuffers

    It must be Christmas with all the presents floating around.

    The health care bill just cleared its first hurdle through the Senate and the amount of special favors and outright bribes for powerful senators and swing states is (expectedly) outrageous.


     
  26. American Greetings Says Goodbye to Michigan

    Just one day after Michigan Economic Development Corporation director Greg Main claimed that Michigan can look forward to a brighter economy next year,  American Greetings offered a stinging repudiation of his agency's failed "picking winners and losers" methodology with the announcement that it would close its plant in Kalamazoo.


     
  27. 2011 funding gap $1.8 billion
    "Michigan schools could see a $215 per-pupil reduction in state funding in 2011 if Senate Fiscal Agency projections hold true and if legislators choose that route to close an anticipated budget gap."
     
  28. Main Forecast: Hoping for a 'Broken Clock' Moment

    In short, MEDC talk is cheap. Its officials can make wild claims about their ability to see the future or "create" jobs from thin air, but none are ever demoted or fired when they eventually prove to be divorced from reality.


     
  29. Enviros vs. Union Jobs: House Dems Choose Enviros

    On Dec. 18 the House voted on party lines to defeat a measure prohibiting state environmental regulators from basing electric generating plant permit decisions on factors other than ones related to pollution, such as whether they think the state really needs the plant, or the owner should look for alternative forms of electricity. The issue arose due to Granholm Administration efforts in the past year to throw roadblocks in front of new coal-fired power plants, including a $2 billion facility in Bay County.


     
  30. Passing the Torch

    Here's the latest evidence that so-called "economic development" programs are actually nothing more than political development programs.


     
  31. 'Race to the Top' Realities

    Now that the Michigan Legislature finally passed some school reform bills in its attempt to get a potential one-time payment of $400 million from the federal government, let's put this "Race to the Top" program into perspective.


     
  32. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST December 22, 2009
     
  33. Port Huron: Emergency or not?
    "They agree that enrollment is declining and state revenue has dropped, but the Port Huron Area School District and the Michigan Education Association do not agree on whether that constitutes a "financial emergency."
     
  34. Dropout law will challenge districts
    "Raising the dropout age to 18 will cost an estimated $230 million annually and challenge public school districts to serve thousands of students who don't want to be there."
     
  35. Public School Funding, Consolidation Discussed

    Michigan's public school funding continues to draw attention.


     
  36. Mackinac Center Legal Foundation Case Proceeding

    The Mackinac Center Legal Foundation is awaiting the next step in its lawsuit against the Michigan Department of Human Services.


     
  37. The Great Charter School Debate
     
  38. Education reform passes
    "New charter and cyber schools, state takeover of failing schools, an end to some union protections for teachers and a new dropout age of 18 are considered the key elements of education reform that passed the state Legislature Saturday."
     
  39. IMPACT Winter 2009
     
  40. ‘Pay-to-plug’ in Birmingham
    "Birmingham School District teachers will have to "pay-to-plug" beginning in January, as the district stops footing the electric bill for extra appliances that teachers bring to school."
     
  41. ‘Race’ language will include more charters
    "House, Senate and administrative leaders have put together a deal calling for more charter schools, teacher tenure changes and merit pay as a way to position Michigan to receive federal "Race to the Top" money for schools."
     
  42. Michigan Still Has Highest Unemployment, But …

    New state-by-state unemployment figures were released today which showed that Michigan remains the state with the highest unemployment rate for the 45th consecutive month. But overall, its rate decreased along with 35 other states.


     
  43. Bad Hangovers, Bad Memories, Bad Taxes

    Like a drunk waking up on New Years' Day, politicians often forget what caused the headache the night before.


     
  44. High-Flying Home-Schoolers

    A recent Detroit News article, inappropriately titled "Lax home-school laws put kids at risk," states that current Michigan law prevents us from finding out how well home-schooled students are doing academically. Home-schoolers in Michigan aren't required to take standardized tests, as they do in other states, but Michigan home-schoolers sometimes take them voluntarily. The results from these tests are very impressive.


     
  45. Are Schools Underfunded?

    Here is a new resource that Michael Van Beek, director of education policy, put together to help people better understand the issue.


     
  46. Welcome, MDFER!

    A new school choice group calls Michigan home.


     
  47. Spending Tobacco Revenue Like There’s No Tomorrow
     
  48. Trustee says threats led him to resign
    "A Pinconning Area Schools board of education member said that "personal threats" have led him to resign."
     
  49. Tea and Tourism Subsidies

    Just one day after the 236th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party, Michigan legislators are preparing to divert a portion of today's sales tax revenue to provide a permanent subsidy for a particular group of business owners, Michigan's tourism industry.


     
  50. Safer at Home?

    A Detroit News headline today claims that "lax home-school laws" are to blame for a young girl's death by parental neglect. This was indeed a tragic event, and people are right to seek ways to prevent such abuse. Putting heavier regulations on homeschoolers, however, would not solve the problem of abuse.

    Homeschooling gives parents the opportunity to keep their children out of dangerous schools and give them an excellent education. Curtailing this right would threaten these children's safety and ability to succeed. Furthermore, blindly trusting that children are kept safe in public schools can only allow more peer and parental abuse.


     
  51. Rebutting Gaffney on PA 312 and Binding Arbitration

    A point-by-point rebuttal of AFL-CIO President Mark Gaffney's defense of PA 312, which establishes that bargaining impasses between local governments in Michigan and unions representing police and fire department personnel will be resolved via binding arbitration.


     
  52. Playing Favorites

    In studies and blog posts, this author and others have argued that state "jobs" programs are really political development programs used by term limited legislators to advance their own political careerism by handing out special tax favors and subsidies to select corporate "winners," all under the guise of "economic development."

    Consider Senate Bill 323, sponsored by state Sen. John Pappageorge, R-Troy.


     
  53. Film Subsidies — Smokin'!
    Does Michigan's film subsidy program encourage children to smoke? Will Michigan's workplace smoking ban put an end to smoking in movies made here? After all, isn't a film set a "workplace?"
     
  54. More Money After Bad

    Throwing money at Detroit only diverts leadership from its core problems.


     
  55. Federal school funding intact
    "Congress has approved a spending bill that would mostly maintain level funding for federal education programs in 2010, though certain individual programs would get funding boosts."
     
  56. Bring Parental Choice to Detroit Public Schools
     
  57. News Release: Michigan Department of State Police Misses Two FOIA Deadlines, Including One Related to $6.9 Million Fee for Earlier Request
     
  58. Stop the Madness!

    Before Detroit Public Schools can return to some degree of effectiveness — let alone excellence — the sheer craziness of its labor relations strife must be resolved one way or another, and that means that DFT, or at least the radicals in DFT who are pushing for a strike, must be confronted and made to pay a steep price for their incompetence and recklessness.


     
  59. My Heart Is in the Highlands

    Amidst economic devastation, mass out-migration, failing public schools and battered roads, Michigan's Legislature has seen fit to hold hearings and discussions on ... the official state tartan of Michigan.

    To truly respect the Scottish spirit, the Legislature would do well to leave off establishing "official" tartans and instead focus on expanding our freedom.


     
  60. FOIA Fail

    I have to hand it to the Michigan Department of State Police and its Freedom of Information Act division. Not only did they want nearly $7 million ($6,876,303.90, to be exact) to process my FOIA request, but they now seem to be dragging their feet in explaining how they arrived at what is recorded on Sunshine Review as the nation's highest FOIA fee.


     
  61. Michigan Capitol Confidential Correction

    On Page 13 in the current issue of Michigan Capitol Confidential (November/December 2009), a roll call vote accompanying the article "Balancing Act" was not labeled properly.


     
  62. Stabilizing Blight?
     
  63. Pellston: Not so fast on Race
    "State legislators may be hurrying to meet Race to the Top application deadlines, but Pellston Public Schools officials are taking a more cautious approach."
     
  64. GOP Senators, SEIU Taxpayer Giveaways, Campaign Cash and More, OH MY!

    On Aug. 5, 2009, Sen. Jason Allen, R-Traverse City, introduced Senate Bill 731, which would give statutory cover to a scheme transferring approximately $6.6 million in taxpayer money annually to the SEIU government employee union, one of the parents of ACORN. Wendy Day of Common Sense in Government has reported on Facebook that Allen was the recipient of a $2,000 campaign contribution from the SEIU on June 22, six weeks before SB 731 was introduced. In another post she hints that the bill was related to SEIU support of former state representative Mike Nofs in a November 2009 special election. The SEIU endorsed Nofs on August 22nd, two weeks after SB 731 was introduced, and sent four full-time workers to help on his campaign.


     
  65. Green School Bill Another Black Mark for Legislators

    If we want our children to truly understand and address environmental issues in the future they need a solid background in science and math - not organic gardening.


     
  66. Why State Economic Development Programs Fail to Fix Michigan

    The Michigan Economic Growth Authority is the state's premiere economic incentive program and accounts for much of the state's "job creation" announcements.

    But most of the job gains and losses in the state are unheralded. Consider this chart of quarterly job gains, losses and MEGA announcements.


     
  67. Political Careerism Spawns New Corporate Favoritism Opportunity

    Politicians seeking to remain on the government payroll for the rest of their working lives — including 148 term-limited legislators — are eager to create ever more boards, authorities, agencies, etc., empowered to hand out special favors to particular corporations and industries. If pending legislation passes, we could soon have at least five more local authorities with the power to grant corporate favor-seekers a breathtaking array of tax breaks, abatements, subsidies and other favors.


     
  68. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST December 15, 2009
     
  69. Hundreds volunteer to teach DPS students
    "More than 800 volunteers signed up to help teach Detroit students to read after Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb said that Detroit Public Schools needs a "reading revolution.""
     
  70. Norman Borlaug: An American Hero
     
  71. Howell Education Association v. Howell Board of Education

    Just what constitutes a public record? Are documents created by a public official on a public computer system “public records” under Michigan's Freedom of Information Act? In this "friend of the court" brief, Mackinac Senior Legal Analyst Patrick J. Wright argues the answer is “yes” and warns that a failure to readily disclose such documents would seriously undermine FOIA's value.


     
  72. GOP Senators, SEIU Taxpayer Giveaways, Campaign Cash and More, OH MY!

    On Aug. 5, 2009, Sen. Jason Allen, R-Traverse City, introduced Senate Bill 731, which would give statutory cover to a scheme transferring approximately $6.6 million in taxpayer money annually to the SEIU government employee union, one of the parents of ACORN. Wendy Day of Common Sense in Government has reported on Facebook that Allen was the recipient of a $2,000 campaign contribution from the SEIU on June 22, six weeks before SB 731 was introduced. In another post she hints that the bill was related to SEIU support of former state representative Mike Nofs in a November 2009 special election. The SEIU endorsed Nofs on August 22nd, two weeks after SB 731 was introduced, and sent four full-time workers to help on his campaign.


     
  73. Expenses Consume Prop A Funding Increases

    Personnel costs are responsible for public school budget problems.


     
  74. Legislative Proposals Revealing of Michigan's Plight

    Future historians will find this proposal for a new Michigan law to be revealing about current problems existing in this state, from MichiganVotes.org: 2009 Senate Bill 1015, introduced by Sen. Gerald Van Woerkom, R-Muskegon, on Dec. 10, 2009, to revise the 2003 law that created local "land bank" authorities, so as to include "to promote urban agriculture" among the things they are supposed to accomplish with abandoned, tax reverted property (along with "revitalize the economy, promote economic growth, and foster development").


     
  75. Is Another Credit Card the Solution to Detroit’s Spending Problem?

    From MichiganVotes.org:

    2009 House Bill 5626 (Raise cap on Detroit deficit finance bonds)

    • Passed in the House (75 to 33) on December 10, 2009, to increase from $125 million to $250 million a cap on how much Detroit can borrow to finance its ongoing gap between spending and revenue, and establish in statute that these lenders (bond holders) would have a priority claim on future state revenue sharing payments even if Detroit files bankruptcy. [Roll Call Vote Details and Comments]

     
  76. ‘Restraint’ law abused, group says
    "A Muskegon-area couple is pushing lawmakers in Michigan and in Congress to ban the use of restraints and seclusion as means of controlling children in public schools."
     
  77. School cut delayed
    "A $127 per-student cut in public school funding has been delayed until the state estimates tax revenue in January."
     
  78. Global Warming "Consensus" Crumbling, Michigan Senate Passes More Indoctrination
    The case for a global warming scientific "consensus" may be crumbling, but that didn’t prevent Michigan state senators this week from passing the latest piece of enviro-indoctrination to be imposed on schoolchildren.
     
  79. Soft Corruption in Carbon Trade Turns Hard

    The Telegraph reports that fraud in the European Union carbon-trade market may have accounted for up to 90 percent of all market activity, resulting in criminal profits in the billions.


     
  80. What It Doesn’t Take To Grow Michigan

    In a recent Grand Rapids Press column, Lou Glazer argued that there's a correlation between a state getting more college graduates and enjoying higher statewide income levels.

    However, Glazer uses only snapshot views of what the per capita personal income or economic output is in a state right now. He ignores trends. But you can't just wear a white suit to become Mark Twain, you have to grow to the role.


     
  81. Story on Film Subsidies Ignores the Full Picture

    A report at AnnArbor.com indicates an increase in the number of hotel room rentals in the Ann Arbor area and credits the Michigan film subsidy, but the story fails to mention any impact on hotels - or other businesses - throughout the rest of Michigan that pay taxes to fund the subsidy.


     
  82. Charter School Expansion: House-Style

    Gongwer reports that Michigan's House Education Committee approved a charter school expansion bill Thursday, but only after shackling it with some debilitating amendments


     
  83. Utica split on furloughs
    "Five employee groups, including administrators, have agreed to take three unpaid furlough days this school year in Utica Community Schools, while teachers and two other groups declined."
     
  84. School District Consolidation Talk in Lansing

    A Detroit Free Press story today on school district consolidation cites a Mackinac Center study on the issue from 2007.


     
  85. Districts share budget ideas
    "A majority of public school officials in Bay and Arenac counties would support sharing business and transportation services, state-run health care for school employees and higher taxes to generate money for schools."
     
  86. Who Wants to Know?
     
  87. A Capital Idea

    Following news of Detroit Public Schools scoring record lows on a national test, an editorial in The Detroit News recommends following the lead of Washington, D.C., which adopted a mayoral control system. The editorial cites the effective control that resulted as the recipe for success. Unfortunately, The News bypassed the most effective reform in the nation's capital: The D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program.


     
  88. Politicians Begin to Choke on Ethanol Myths

    At least one Michigan politician has figured out that corn is for food, not cars.


     
  89. Littmann: Michigan Can Recover

    Despite its myriad problems, Michigan is a place of "opportunity," David Littmann, the Center's senior economist, tells The Washington Examiner today.


     
  90. Districts adjust programs, staff
    "Media reports from around the state indicate that school districts anticipate closing buildings, laying off staff, restructuring programs and using fund balance dollars to cover costs in 2009-2010."
     
  91. Higher Education “Underinvestment” Provides a Return

    It's often repeated in the halls of government and the state-focused media that Michigan "underinvests" in higher education. The facts suggest otherwise.

    In 2003, Michigan had the seventh highest spending among the states on public universities. Appropriations here have been fairly level since then, but we were still the 10th-biggest higher ed spender in 2008. Even with sideways revenues for half the decade, Michigan has been surpassed only by Ohio, Pennsylvania and Georgia in total dollars devoted to higher education.


     
  92. Political Careerism the Root of Growing "Economic Development" Empire

    History, economic theory and empirical research all demonstrate that discriminatory tax breaks and government subsidies don’t work to grow the economy or expand job opportunities. So why has Michigan’s political class greatly expanded the number and generosity of such programs? The special favors may do nothing to expand jobs for the people, but the growing empire of entities with the power to grant them creates hundreds of potential job opportunities for the political careerists who populate Michigan’s term-limited legislature.


     
  93. EPA, Not CO2, Is the Danger

    Carbon dioxide became public enemy No. 1 Monday when the Environmental Protection Agency made an endangerment finding declaring that CO2 is a harmful pollutant that must be regulated under the Clean Air Act.


     
  94. Lighten Up
    The Michigan Legislature is once again considering an attack on private property rights in the form of a workplace smoking ban.
     
  95. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST December 8, 2009
     
  96. Salters: We don't oppose reform
    "The Michigan Education Association does not oppose reform measures that would help Michigan qualify for federal education dollars, but some restrictions must apply."
     
  97. Healthcare Rationing
     
  98. David Littmann Discusses Michigan's Unemployment

    Littmann: Prediction still valid.


     
  99. Ethanol and HSAs Explained

    Center scholars address two issues of the day.


     
  100. The Michigan Climate Coincidence: Channeling Goldfinger

    Michigan is not officially part of the two-week United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, which the New York Post says aims to "save the Earth from certain doom." While the Great Lakes state will miss out on hobnobbing with notable personalities such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Daryl Hannah, Helena Christensen, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Prince Charles, Michigan seems poised to do its part by legislatively chipping away at 54 policy recommendations to "reduce greenhouse gases" as spelled out by the Michigan Climate Action Council in the 125-page Michigan Climate Action Plan and its 471-page appendix.

    As I read these recommendations and the proposed environment-related legislation, I'm reminded of a quote from the character Auric Goldfinger in Ian Fleming's "Goldfinger:" "Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action."


     
  101. Um, What's the Opposite of "More"?

    One might think Detroit public school teachers are grossly overcompensated and overprotected, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a legitimate beef with union officials who promised them “more, more, more” without bothering to ask where it would come from.


     
  102. How Michigan Could Save $3.5 Billion a Year

    Michigan is facing a projected $2.8 billion state budget shortfall. As a result, Gov. Jennifer Granholm has cut $212 million from public school spending -- rousing the ire of parents and education officials around the state. But if Michigan merely converted all its conventional public schools to charters, without altering current funding formulas, it would save $3.5 billion.


     
  103. Two More Ideas for Fixing Michigan

    The anatomy of change.


     
  104. Government Lobbying on the Rise

    Government lobbying government: A wise expenditure?


     
  105. MEDC Subsidies Questioned

    Another Michigan Economic Development Corp. tax subsidy has come under fire.


     
  106. Bloomfield Hills Sings the Blues

    A recent rally at West Bloomfield High School was apparently arranged by "madder than hell" parents, who are responding to contacts from school employees requesting their support in opposing reductions to state funding. Since all school districts are experiencing cuts, it's rather surprising that such a rally would come from some of Michigan's most luxuriously funded schools.


     
  107. ‘Vote no,’ some Detroit teachers urge
    "Detroit teachers would take home $500 less per month under a tentative contract agreement reached between union and district leaders last week, and some teachers aren't buying it."
     
  108. Michigan School Privatization Survey 2009

    With Michigan’s public school districts facing a decline in per-pupil funding, more districts are contracting out for at least one of the three major school support services — food, custodial and transportation — than ever before. This year’s survey of school districts found that 44.6 percent of all Michigan school districts contract out for at least one of these services, a 5.6 percent increase over 2008. This year, new contracts alone are expected to save $6.9 million.


     
  109. A Christmas Wish List for Michigan Policymakers
     
  110. Dear Tax Raisers: Please Tell Us Where to Cut
     
  111. The Source of the School Budget Quagmire
     
  112. Bill would alter teacher tenure
    ""Ineffective" teachers could be fired without recourse to tenure protection rules under a bill that passed the state Senate Thursday."
     
  113. Smith Tax Hike Solves Non-Existent Problem

    Rep. Alma Wheeler Smith, D-Salem, proposed imposing a graduated income tax on Michigan individuals, and also extending the sales tax to services. She expects these hikes to extract an additional $6.5 billion from families and businesses here.

    Rep. Smith and others seeking tax hikes (on both sides of the aisle) often claim that because of changes in the state's economy Michigan's tax system extracts fewer dollars per unit of economic activity than it did in an earlier era.

    They are mistaken. Indeed, in its ability to suck revenue from a given level of (declining) economic activity, Michigan's tax system has outperformed 31 other states over the past year, despite being affixed to the nation's worst economy. This fact contradicts the claims of would-be tax raisers that our system is "broken" and needs to be "modernized."


     
  114. Schools: More funding or less spending?
    "Forty-one public school districts ended 2008-2009 in the red."
     
  115. Interview With Sanford Ikeda
     
  116. Relationship Problems

    The already problematic relationship between the State of Michigan and the Service Employees International Union is becoming more and more troubling as SEIU Local 517M reached terms for changes to their contract with the state of Michigan. As we have reported on this blog, another SEIU subsidiary, the Member Action Services Center, received $2 million in refundable MEGA tax credits last month.


     
  117. Michigan Has Best Job Growth Since 90s, But…

    Michigan had the best job creation it has had since the boom 1990s last month. The state added 38,600 jobs in a single month, a gain of 1.0 percent. The last time the state added more than 1 percent in a single month was in August 1998 when GM workers returned to work after a month-long strike.

    Here's a look at recent monthly job gains and losses:


     
  118. Ousted trustee returns by appointment
    "Madison District Schools Board of Education President Keith Beguhn lost his re-election bid in November, but will return to the board through a controversial appointment."
     
  119. Health Insurance Bill
     
  120. MICHIGAN CAPITOL CONFIDENTIAL
     
  121. Michigan Privatization Report (MPR)
    Michigan Privatization Report was a biannual publication beginning in 1994 and ending in 2009 of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a nonprofit, nonpartisan, tax-exempt research and education organization devoted to analyzing Michigan public policy issues. It was distributed to state senators and representatives and policy staff; department directors and staff; municipal officials and administrators; school superintendents and school board members, as well as media. Total circulation was over 22,000.
     
  122. Is That Your Final Answer?

    According to a recent poll, 60 percent of 600 Michigan voters believe schools are underfunded and another 83 percent think teacher pay is about right or too low.

    As much as anything, polls like this measure respondents' knowledge of the particular issue. Studies show that when respondents know the facts, their opinions on public education issues change significantly.

    If told that total school revenue increased by 33 percent in the last 15 years even after adjusting for inflation — the 2008 Michigan school district average was $13,000 per student — would 60 percent still think schools need more money? Would people still think teachers need higher pay if informed that average teacher salaries in Michigan are among the nation's highest?


     
  123. Living Here in Allentown

    What did it take for Michigan to turn into Billy Joel's Allentown?

    Well we're living here in Allentown,
    And they're closing all the factories down.
    Out in Bethlehem they're killing time.
    Filling out forms, standing in line.

     
  124. Asian Carp

    The Detroit Free Press reports that Gov. Jennifer Granholm is calling for legal action to block the shipping route between Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River in an attempt to prevent an invasive carp species from entering the Great Lakes system.

    An article from the Mackinac Center's MichiganScience magazine provides a solid background of the issues surrounding the Asian carp's migration toward the Great Lakes.


     
  125. House Bill 5319 Attacks Private Property Rights

    Property owners should expect to be able to use groundwater under their own land without state interference.


     
  126. MEA reports $124M pension debt
    "The Michigan Education Associations says that most of its newly reported $124 million debt consists of pension liabilities that will come due over the next 70 years."
     
  127. A Growing Disaster
     
  128. Unions Nix Job-Saving Plan

    Union leaders seek to prevent teachers in a West Michigan school district from taking pay cuts to save their co-workers' jobs.


     
  129. How Bad Is the Housing Market in Michigan?

    The state archeologist office, which traces the remains of human civilization and industry, is now found in the Michigan State Housing Development Authority.

    Seriously.


     
  130. Property Takings by a Court Are Still Property Takings

    A Supreme Court case being heard today could impact Michigan property owners.


     
  131. The MEA's LM-2 Report for 2008-2009

    The MEA's 2008-2009 LM-2 report at your fingertips.


     
  132. Tidbits From the MEA's Recent Financial Report

    The union is slightly less bloated, but its top officers are still doing pretty well.


     
  133. School reform clears Senate panel
    "A Senate committee Tuesday signed off on bills allowing more charter public schools, alternative teacher certification and ways to reform failing schools, with the full Senate expected to take up the legislation this week."
     
  134. Bus Pass

    Oakland County taxpayers may have dodged a new bus tax bullet, but most are still paying a lot for buses they don't ride.


     
  135. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST December 1, 2009
     
  136. Race to the Top now top priority
    "State lawmakers will concentrate heavily on education reform in the next two weeks as Michigan attempts to nab up to $400 million in Race to the Top federal funding for schools."
     
  137. 2009 MEA Union Revenue: $83.01 Per Student

    The annual revenue of the Michigan Education Association school employee union in the year ending Aug. 31, 2009, was $132.2 million. This comes to $83.01 for every K-12 student in the state.

    Sources: MEA revenue from "Form LM-2” filed by the union on Nov. 24, 2009, with the U.S. Department of Labor. Per-pupil amount based on 2009-2010 pupil count projected by the May, 2009, Michigan Consensus Revenue Agreement.


     
  138. Young Guns Join the Drive
     
  139. SEIU/MASC: Curiouser and Curiouser

    MEDC moved fast to secure a union operation for Michigan, but did it really need to?


     
  140. Ethanol Subsidies Create Problems

    Russ Harding's Op-Ed in The New York Times addresses the faults of ethanol subsidies.


     
  141. Student loss not always job-related
    "It turns out that Monroe Public Schools students are not leaving the district because job-hungry parents are fleeing Michigan."
     
  142. Crocodile Tears Over Deer-Hunting Legislators

    In his weekly column in the Lansing insiders publication "The Dome," Tim Skubick joins the finger-wagging chorus bashing lawmakers for taking two weeks off for deer hunting season. For those whose thoughts may turn to part-time legislature, here's an idea proposed by the man with the highest character to serve in Lansing in the past 30 years (perhaps ever): "Pay them $100,000 each year, and dock 'em $1,000 for every day they meet."


     
  143. My Pre-Existing Condition
     
  144. Teacher accused of pawning laptop
    "A Detroit elementary teacher allegedly pawned one of the district's laptop computers for $60."
     
  145. Charter expands to elementary
    "North Star Academy expanded its program this year by adding kindergarten through fifth grades."
     
  146. Teachers want to help save jobs
    "Some members of the Wyoming Education Association are calling on their fellow union members to agree to a plan under which Wyoming Public Schools could save jobs through employee payroll donations."
     
  147. UM Economists' Cloudy Crystal Balls

    UM economists just released their job and income predictions for the next two years. Their past record is dismal, in part because their models undervalue the most critical factor of economics: how people respond to economic incentives and future expectations.


     
  148. 'Climategate' Raises Questions About Money in Science

    Russ Harding explains how money may impact research on global warming.


     
  149. News Release: Huron Valley Schools Posts Check Register
     
  150. Program combines engineering, service
    "High school students in Huron County are learning engineering and computer science skills as they plan projects intended to help their local communities."
     
  151. What's Hiding Under the MASC?
    The Michigan Economic Growth Authority has granted a $2 million tax credit to the Service Employees International Union that appears to be "refundable," meaning that it's actually a cash subsidy if this union operation has no tax liability. In that case, Michigan taxpayers would be paying for an SEIU office that could also be used for union organizing or political activism. The MEDC's response to persistent Mackinac Center attempts to confirm this has been, well, unresponsive.
     
  152. The Overton Window Opens to Another Audience

    Joseph G. Lehman, president of the Mackinac Center, discussed the Overton Window on Detroit's WDET Public Radio today.


     
  153. Capitalism Is Consumer Protection

    Consumer Protection? In America, we have the glorious option of getting things fast, cheap, with fees and without and almost always some mix of all of the above and more — all because of businesses constantly looking to do what we want, when we want and how we want at a price we're willing to pay. This magic of the marketplace happens in spite of politicians, not because of them.


     
  154. Graduated Income Taxes Hurt State Growth
    (Editor's note: This blog entry was originally posted Oct. 28, 2009. It is being reposted after Sen. Alma Wheeler Smith, D-Salem Township, a 2010 gubernatorial candidate, announced her plan to restructure Michigan's taxes, including a graduated income tax topping out at 9.35 percent.)
     
  155. Center Scholars Cited on Economy, Environment, Education and More

    Mackinac Center expertise on display.


     
  156. K-zoo Taxpayers May Ante Up for New Sports Arena
     
  157. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST November 24, 2009
     
  158. Jackson eyes insurance changes
    "Jackson Public Schools is investigating switching insurance carriers, self-funding or asking all employee groups to agree to higher deductibles and co-pays as ways to spend less on health insurance."
     
  159. Day Care in Wonderland
     
  160. Glenn Beck Highlights Mackinac Center’s “Overton Window”

    Friday on his Fox television show, Glenn Beck described public policy changes along a spectrum from right to left, dubbing the range of current policies “the Overton Window.” He borrowed the term my colleagues and I gave to a theory of change developed by the Mackinac Center’s late vice president, Joseph Overton.


     
  161. Center Cited in Detroit, Grand Rapids
    The Center's work on prevailing wage and government employee benefits was featured in two of the state's largest newspapers Sunday.
     
  162. MEA, AFT both want new CMU members
    "The Michigan Education Association and American Federation of Teachers of Michigan are competing to add non-tenured faculty at Central Michigan University to their ranks."
     
  163. Are Schools Underfunded?
     
  164. More Day Care Providers Speak Out
     
  165. Sherry and Dawn's Story
     
  166. Unions unhappy about ‘Cadillac’ tax
    "National teachers' unions have been solidly behind health care reform so far, but Education Week reports that they are not so excited about a Senate version that would tax so-called "Cadillac" health plans."
     
  167. Hillsdale offers severance
    "Hillsdale Community Schools is offering severance packages to teachers and support personnel who retire now as a way to save money in the long run."
     
  168. "Light Pollution" = Law Pollution

    Friday's Wall Street Journal has a piece by Eric Felten on a "dark skies" movement seeking to define outdoor lighting as a form of "pollution," and pass laws to boss people around regarding their choice about how to light up their own property. Fortunately, Michigan's political class is immune to such misguided notions.

    Oh, wait a minute. ...

    2004 Senate Bill 1250 (Create light pollution study board)


     
  169. MEGA Madness and Big Labor Contradictions
    Ironically, a special tax break offered by the state of Michigan to a for-profit arm of the Service Employees International Union was arranged in part to address the union's complaint that it is at a disadvantage due to Michigan's "high labor costs" compared to two other states the SEIU was supposedly considering (one of them with a right-to-work law reviled by the union). This according to a document obtained by Detroit News business writer Daniel Howes ("State tax credit to labor union is baffling," Nov. 20). 


     
  170. Division apparent on health care pool
    "The University of Michigan believes that a plan to create a single health insurance pool for all public employees is unconstitutional, firefighters believe it's unwise, but the president of Lansing Community College sees it as the right moral choice."
     
  171. The Top Ten Things People Believe About Canadian Health Care, But Shouldn’t
     
  172. MEDC-SEIU Arrangement Still Raising Questions
    Paul Kersey discusses MEDC-SEIU deal on Frank Beckmann's show.
     
  173. A MEGA Delusion

    At a press conference Tuesday announcing several new recipients of discriminatory state tax breaks, Gov. Jennifer Granholm repeated a number of false or misleading statements about this state government's policy of picking winners and losers, and its effects as a substitute for genuine labor, regulatory and tax law reforms.


     
  174. Jackson eyes insurance changes
    "Jackson Public Schools is investigating switching insurance carriers, self-funding or asking all employee groups to agree to higher deductibles and co-pays as ways to spend less on health insurance."
     
  175. News Release: Almost Half of Michigan's Largest School Districts Embrace Spending Transparency
     
  176. New Tax on Garbage Should Be Trashed
    Contrary to rhetoric often heard, Michigan has no shortage of landfill space. Many local communities welcome local landfills in their area due to the jobs they bring as well as tax revenue generated from the facilities.
     
  177. Auto Industry a “Bit Player” in State Fiscal Woes

    Michigan politicians are fond of blaming the domestic auto industry's decline for all the state's problems. But "auto industry" just doesn't mean what it used to here. For example, domestic auto sales have fallen by 49.8 percent since their 1999 peak. Over the same period, however, inflation-adjusted state tax and fee revenues have only declined by 15.9 percent.


     
  178. Alabama Blows Away School Funding "Crisis" Smoke

    While Michigan's school funding "crisis" rages on, the Alabama Board of Education just came up with a plan to balance the state's education budget in one day.


     
  179. Center Scholars Discuss Dollar, State Spending
    Two center scholars were recently called upon for their expertise.
     
  180. What The...?

    The value of MEDC itself is dubious and this grant to SEIU is especially so.


     
  181. Film Subsidy Is Political, not Economic

    An unusual joint hearing occurring right now of two state House committees on Michigan's film subsidy program brought to mind a letter received last summer from Janet Lockwood, director of the Michigan Film Office. The letter was in response to a Mackinac Center press release describing how the subsidy program may actually destroy jobs.


     
  182. State Legislators Need All the Facts on Film Subsidies

    Dear Legislators: It has come to my attention that you will be meeting today to discuss the Michigan film incentive program. As you consider the testimony and documents presented by various parties, be advised that certain items with seemingly pristine pedigrees may be deeply flawed.


     
  183. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST November 17, 2009
     
  184. Educators review budget options
    "Not yet certain whether they will face a $127 per-pupil cut in December, school administrators are reviewing their choices for dealing with it."
     
  185. News Release: House Testimony Claiming Mackinac Center Support for Michigan Film Subsidy 'False,' Says Senior Economist
     
  186. Politically Powerful Special Interest Gets Special State Tax Break

    A business operation created by the politically powerful SEIU labor union will be granted a special $2 million tax break by the state of Michigan.


     
  187. The Luckiest ZIP Code in Michigan

    Apparently in terms of federal stimulus money and thousands of new jobs allegedly created, the luckiest place in Michigan to live is in the 48933 zip code. According to the U.S. Postal Service website, 48933 is none other than Lansing, our state capital.


     
  188. 'Pirate Radio' Capsizes From Lack of Weight

    "Pirate Radio," in theaters now, is a silly and inconsequential movie that represents a missed opportunity to show the negative impacts of government overreaching into what should be a private enterprise. In this instance, British government bureaucrats stymie a broadcast outlet for rock music in the mid-1960s.


     
  189. From South Detroit to Shockandawe

    A pattern of sorts is starting to emerge: When one hears numbers of “jobs created or saved” by various government programs, it appears to be more and more likely that such numbers were pulled by someone out of the vicinity of his or her own back pocket.


     
  190. Stimulating! Ten New Congressional Districts in Michigan!

    My colleagues at Watchdog.org and its state-level affiliates were the first in the nation to break the story that the $787 billion federal stimulus package "has doubled the size of the House of Representatives, according to Recovery.gov, which says that funds were distributed to 440 congressional districts that do not exist."


     
  191. LaFaive 'Has Plenty of Ideas,' According to NRO

    John Hood at National Review Online yesterday called Michigan the "epicenter of the fiscal earthquake," referring to the overspending crisis created by Gov. Jennifer Granholm and the Legislature.


     
  192. Charters gain market share
    "More than one-third of the students who live within Detroit Public Schools boundaries attended a public charter school in 2008-2009."
     
  193. Will Michigan Sit Out This Race?

    A Detroit Examiner columnist Friday cited Michael Van Beek, the Center's director of education policy, on Michigan's refusal to pursue school reforms that could help the state secure federal funding.


     
  194. The First Raindrops Fall

    A Mackinac Center July Viewpoint was prescient, to say the least.


     
  195. Bad Policy Doesn't Taste Better With Tea

    Thursday's Wall Street Journal carried an article about Republican candidates for federal offices who are favored by establishment GOP power brokers, and how these candidates are suddenly finding themselves on the business end of the grassroots "Tea Party" opposition in many states. The article notes that this is creating heartburn for the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee because the GOP was behind finding these more establishment-minded politicians in the first place and now can't sell them to even the GOP primary voters.


     
  196. Cigarette Taxes and Smuggling

    A study co-authored almost a year ago by Michael D. LaFaive, director of the Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative at the Center, continues to garner media attention.


     
  197. Dear Tax Raisers: Please Tell Us Where to Cut

    If Michigan's governor and Legislature insist on taking more from families to solve the state's self-created overspending crisis, they should at least tell those families where to trim their budgets.


     
  198. Introducing the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation
     
  199. More Flint students in charters
    "More than one-third of the students who live within Detroit Public Schools boundaries attended a public charter school in 2008-2009."
     
  200. Nothing 'Liberal' About Defending Government-Class Privileges

    There is nothing “liberal” — as opposed to partisan — about defending the perks of a privileged class of government and school employees over the interests of taxpaying families and business owners.

    How do we fix Michigan? Changing the incentives that make members of the political class behave in ways that accelerate the Detroitification of Michigan is key.


     
  201. 'Live Free or Die' State Chooses 'Die'
    New Hampshire’s inspiring state motto is a tribute to individualism, but it shines a bit less brightly today after the state offered to guarantee part of a “loan” to an ailing newspaper. That’s a mistake, and if the “Live Free or Die” state has any doubt they should look to the record of the Great Lake state.
     
  202. Flanagan: Solve your differences
    "State school Superintendent Michael Flanagan asked lawmakers and teachers unions Thursday to settle their differences and clear the way for Michigan to apply for up to $400 million in federal funding for public schools."
     
  203. Inspiration or Desperation?

    A recent Detroit Free Press editorial too easily dismisses Gov. Jennifer Granholm's now infamous 2006 quip, "you'll be blown away" ("Granholm an unfortunate victim of her own words," Nov. 11). They did so by truncating the full sentence and arguing that it was simply "delivered as an inspiration."


     
  204. Data Mining
    A look at mining issues and water regulation.
     
  205. Are Detroit City Retirees Being Taken Advantage Of?

    This wouldn’t be the first time Detroit city employee unions turned a blind eye toward graft. Did the unions ever register any protests about how the boards operated?


     
  206. Some Perspective on '20j' School District Funding Cuts
    Funding cuts for Michigan's wealthier school districts isn't as bad as some make it sound.
     
  207. 'Litte Pink House' Sacrificed for Nothing
    Susette Kelo's home was taken by the government for ... nothing.
     
  208. John Dingell: The True Face of Health Care Reform

    Selling government-run medicine is easy as long as you ignore the evidence.


     
  209. Our Educational Investment

    Since Proposal A of 1994, inflation-adjusted total revenue for public schools grew by 33 percent. What have we got for this investment? The chart below provides some answers.


     
  210. Public Sector Unions — The New Tammany Hall
    Yesterday, I described an analysis performed by Mackinac Center scholars finding a correlation between public sector unionism, faster government spending growth and weaker state employment growth. The history and actual mechanism by which these sad outcomes have been realized were detailed last month in a Weekly Standard piece by professors Fred Siegel and Dan DiSalvo called, "The New Tammany Hall: Public sector unions have become a labor aristocracy — and they are bankrupting states and municipalities."
     
  211. MEGA Tax Credits Are Not Without Cost

    Last August, the Mackinac Center released a study critical of the Michigan Economic Growth Authority. This was the second of two rigorous analyses of MEGA by the Center, and both found that - at best - the program has had no net positive job creation impact. Indeed, the latest results suggest that the program may actually destroy jobs. Not surprisingly MEGA apologists have bristled, and when compelled to respond, have done so with what could charitably be called a series of untruths about the program.


     
  212. Breaking the Doctors
     
  213. Michigan: “A+” for Corporate Welfare, “F” for Economic Growth (Revised Version)
     
  214. Oh Canada?!
     
  215. Canada Wait List
     
  216. Canadian Doctor Lotteries
     
  217. Canadian Medical Tourism
     
  218. Power Plays
     
  219. A Real Canadian Speaks Out
     
  220. ReImagine winners named
    "Thirteen school districts have been selected as Project ReImagine winners by the  Michigan Department of Education, meaning they likely would receive a share of any Race to the Top education money coming to Michigan."
     
  221. State Ignores $600 Million for Schools
     
  222. Epic FOIA Bill Provides Amusement

    Politico's Ben Smith passed along the story about the $7 million fee the Michigan Department of State Police would charge to fulfill the Mackinac Center's Freedom of Information Act request.


     
  223. Michigan’s Juiced Revenue System

    Advocates of higher taxes frequently claim that Michigan's tax system is "out of sync" with the current economy, and needs to be "restructured" in ways that ensure more steady (and larger) extraction of revenues. But when it comes to extracting revenue from a declining tax base, Michigan has been taking a larger proportion of the population's wealth and income, not less. It's also been "outcompeting" other states in this regard.


     
  224. Pew Center Is Wrong on Michigan, Right About Trend

    A new report from the Pew Center on the States, Beyond California (pdf), erroneously suggests that Michigan's economic travails are due to the fall of the auto industry and the presence of what it characterizes as an "out of sync" tax system.


     
  225. Demanding More Transparency in Government

    A Bay City Times editorial enthusiastically echoed the Mackinac Center's rallying cry for government transparency: "Show Michigan the Money." The Times goes on to ask, "Why not require [public posting of financial information] of all agencies and governments that receive taxpayer money? It’s the public’s money they are pending, [sic] and taxpayers have the right to see where it is going."


     
  226. MEDC Untruths Reveal Political Nature of 'Jobs' Department

    The Mackinac Center's recent analysis of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. elicited some misleading or erroneous responses from MEDC officials. Although the MEDC is supposed to be about economic development, its true mission is political, and so its pronouncements should be viewed with the same skepticism as ones from politicians.


     
  227. Weak States, Strong Government Unions

    States with laws giving government employee unions greater power tend to have less economic growth and more government spending growth, according to a recent analysis by Mackinac Center scholars. The degree of public sector unionism is one of a number of theories for what causes some states to grow while others suffer economic decline, one that acquires additional weight thanks to this analysis. Policymakers looking to reverse Michigan's decade-long decline should not ignore the role these laws may play.


     
  228. Panel would review school boundaries
    "A state representative wants to create an advisory panel to review public school district boundaries and recommend where consolidation or division makes financial sense."
     
  229. No Thanks, I'm Full

    Obesity is a real problem, but if there’s a public health problem that can be addressed with the sort of top-down, one-size-fits-all approach that is typical for government, obesity is not it.


     
  230. Removal of Boardman Dams Has Negative Environmental and Energy Impacts

    The road to hell is paved with the shells from proverbial eggs broken in the service of producing an idealized omelet. In the case of Grand Traverse County, enough eggs are being broken to warrant the attention of the folks at the Guinness Book of World Records.


     
  231. A Fatheaded Policy

    Only in America can researchers lament the availability of inexpensive food. Instead of appreciating how amazing it is that America's poorest are too fat, a recent paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research hints that minimum wages should be raised to take away Americans' access to abundant, cheap food.


     
  232. Kalamazoo's Taxpayer Arena
    Kalamazoo County wants taxpayers to help buy a new sports arena.
     
  233. School Funding Myths

    With much talk about school budgets and per-pupil costs of public education in Michigan, there's bound to be plenty of questions and assumptions made about our school funding system. Here's a breakdown of two common myths about one of the most misunderstood concepts — the foundation allowance.


     
  234. Dancing With the Government

    When you "dance with government," be prepared to get stepped on.


     
  235. Stimulus money: Now or later?
    "In the short term, the debate over school funding in Michigan will revolve around whether to use federal stimulus dollars to fill this year's state budget overspending crisis or next year's."
     
  236. Senior Skip Day

    Today in Lansing: What state capitol demonstrations are a legitimate use of a school's resources and students and which are not?


     
  237. What Price Information? Try $7 million

    $6,876,303.90, to be exact. That's what the Michigan Department of State Police is charging for more than two million pages of documentation I requested via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) regarding the state's handling of federal homeland security grant money from 2002 to present. This is definitely a record for Mackinac Center FOIA requests. In fact, this may be a record for any FOIA request.


     
  238. Center Ideas Featured in Detroit News

    How to Fix Michigan.


     
  239. MichiganScience No. 11
    MichiganScience is a Mackinac Center quarterly magazine that helps meet the need for accurate and accessible information about the increasingly complex scientific issues confronting voters and lawmakers. The magazine reflects the idea that even the most technical scientific policy issues can be discussed with lively prose and compelling visuals.
     
  240. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST November 10, 2009
     
  241. Universities pay for Promise
    "At least four state universities have announced they will pick up part of the tab for rescinded Michigan Promise Scholarships."
     
  242. Ballot Proposal Is About Mining, not Water
     
  243. Cuts to the Classroom

    Assuming an average class size of 25 students, the $292 per-pupil cut currently debated in the Legislature means that each classroom in the state will have to make do with $7,300 less funding. It’s easy to picture classrooms without enough textbooks, pencils or chalk. The reality, though, is that comparatively schools spend very little on classroom supplies such as these.


     
  244. Michigan: “A+” for Corporate Welfare, “F” for Economic Growth
    The appproach Michigan politicians have mainly chosen to show that they're "doing something" about the state's ongoing economic decline is a massive expansion of discriminatory tax breaks and subsidies for particular firms. The failure of such programs has created another political need, which is a way to demonstrate that this approach really isn't a waste of time and money. Enter the annual Governor's Cup ranking by Site Selection magazine, which is considered the "company paper" for government "economic development" bureaucracies around the country.
     
  245. What a Web Tax Collectors Weave
    The Nov. 6 edition of the Gongwer Michigan Report (subscription required) describes a new "bulletin" from the Michigan Department of Treasury defining which foods are considered "prepared" and thus subject to the state sales tax — and which are not: Donuts with a napkin are, but donuts with waxed paper are not. And so on. Such hair-splitting may be a foretaste of what we can expect if this state ever imposes a sales tax on services.
     
  246. The Tragedy of a Bad Feng Shui

    A bipartisan package of bills in the Michigan Senate is poised to protect consumers from the tragedy of bad interior design. The legislation may or may not succeed in that, but it certainly will protect interior designers from the tragedy of more competition generating lower prices for consumers.


     
  247. Mackinac Center Cited in Wall Street Journal
    In a Wall Street Journal Op-Ed, Shikha Dalmia cited the Mackinac Center's recent finding that Michigan's public-sector employees annually receive $5.7 billion more in benefits than their private-sector counterparts.
     
  248. What a Teacher Pay Freeze Really Means
     
  249. Public Trust Should Not Be Trusted
     
  250. U Prep to pay for college
    "University Preparatory High School, a charter public school in Detroit, will pay nearly the full cost of the first year of college for any of its 124 seniors who are eligible."
     
  251. A Museum You Don’t Want to Miss (20th Anniversary)
     
  252. Health Savings Accounts Can Save Michigan Money
     
  253. IMPACT Fall 2009
     
  254. Teacher elected to school board
    "A classroom teacher has been elected to the school board in the Pontiac School District, though whether that constitutes a conflict of interest remains a question."
     
  255. Voters turn down new school tax
    "Voters in Washtenaw County turned down a new school tax on Tuesday, an outcome which will force area districts to find ways to spend less."
     
  256. Where's the Love for Our Fiscally Conservative Governor?
    If one just looks just at the effect of her school budget cut actions and ignores the motivations, Gov. Jennifer Granholm looks like a fiscal conservative's hero right now. So where's the love? For that matter, where's the love for taxpayers from the 12 Republicans and 62 Democrats who voted yesterday to appropriate federal "stimulus" dollars plus money from proposed tax hikes to "undo" the Governor's school spending reductions?
     
  257. Bad Medicine
    Washington's health care prescription will make Michigan's budget even sicker.
     
  258. Russ Harding on WMKT
    Russ Harding discusses property rights in Traverse City.
     
  259. Social Welfare Payments Do Not Make a Strong Economy
    In the latest Michigan Senate Fiscal Agency Economic Indicators report, economist David Zin echoed an observation I made here last month on personal income: The recent increase in a key economic indicator — personal income growth — suggests the very opposite that Michigan has turned a corner.
     
  260. Judge: Flint can leave MESSA
    "Flint Community Schools can change health insurance providers for teachers despite their protests, a Genesee County judge has ruled."
     
  261. Reed Cited on Free Speech and Elections
    Lawrence W. Reed cited in The Detroit News, Investors Business Daily.
     
  262. House committee: Spend stimulus now
    "Public schools would avoid most of a $127 per-pupil cut in December, but likely face deeper cuts in the future, if the state Legislature agrees to spend education stimulus dollars this year instead of next."
     
  263. Capitalism: A Muddled Hatchet Job
     
  264. Detroit Votes for Change
    What does Dave Bing's election as mayor of Detroit mean?
     
  265. Russ Harding on WTCM
    Russ Harding, director of the Property Rights Network at the Mackinac Center, was a guest today on "The Norm Jones Show" on WTCM in Traverse City.
     
  266. Getting Money, Saving Money
    Mackinac Center media coverage today includes ...
     
  267. Grand Ledge eyes spending cuts
    "Responding to potential state aid cuts, Grand Ledge Public Schools administrators have proposed closing two elementary buildings, eliminating 53 positions, ending high school bus service, downsizing sports and band programs and seeking $558,000 in employee concessions."
     
  268. Is Green the New Color of Fraud?
    A new report out of Oregon alleges fraud and intentional deception on the part of state officials in their rush to use taxpayer money to lure green jobs to Oregon. The Oregonian reports that state officials deliberately underestimated the cost of tax payer subsidies for green energy projects, resulting in a cost 40 times greater than estimates provided to Oregon lawmakers before they voted on the tax breaks. Findings include:
     
  269. Two recalls in Romeo
    "Five of seven Romeo Community Schools board members have been named in two separate recall efforts, with a school closing and privatization as key issues."
     
  270. Lawrence W. Reed Inducted Into JA Hall of Fame
     
  271. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST November 3, 2009
     
  272. New Client for Mackinac Center Legal Foundation
    A new client who is part of the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation's lawsuit against the Michigan Department of Human Services is featured in The Flint Journal today.
     
  273. Water Initiative All About Banning Mining
    Michigan voters should not be fooled by the latest effort of environmental groups, called "Mi Water," that purportedly would regulate mining in the state. The ballot proposal does not regulate mining inasmuch as it effectively bans future mining in Michigan.
     
  274. Columnist Cites Michael Van Beek on School Consolidation
    A Kalamazoo Gazette columnist Saturday cited Michael Van Beek, director of education policy, on a recent Current Comment he wrote about school district consolidation.
     
  275. Michigan Messenger: Kersey Correct
    A reporter with The Michigan Messenger contacted two college professors in response to an Op-Ed that Paul Kersey, labor policy director, wrote for The Detroit News.
     
  276. Candy giveaway part of larger plan
    "Pontiac School District teachers were to hand out Halloween candy in front of district schools Saturday as part of a larger effort to entice parents and students back to the district."
     
  277. Cast Your Vote for Limited Government
     
  278. Anti-millage signs removed, replaced
    "An Ann Arbor "community standards officer" took down anti-school millage signs in front of a township residence, only to learn that he was outside his jurisdiction."
     
  279. More students in meals programs
    "More students have signed up for reduced-cost meals in Muskegon-area public schools, likely reflecting parental unemployment but also because students don't know any more who among them gets free lunch."
     
  280. Recall Reversal of Fortune
    Recalls aren't used only by the small government side.
     
  281. Not As Good As You Think
    A new report by the National Center for Education Statistics contains some bad news for Michigan schools. When compared to proficiency standards on national tests, Michigan's self-proclaimed "proficient" students score near the bottom in the country.
     
  282. Superintendent: State should cap health costs
    "Rather than placing all public employees in a single health care pool, a west Michigan school superintendent suggests the state save money by capping the amount governmental units can pay for health care plans, or by requiring employees to pay a percent of their health insurance premium."
     
  283. Art Needs No State Subsidies
     
  284. The Horror of It All
    The U.S. House of Representatives has just posted on the Internet its health care overhaul bill, HR 3962, “To provide affordable, quality health care for all Americans and reduce the growth in health care spending, etc.” All 1990 impenetrable pages of it.  But this bill isn’t just longer than a Stephen King novel, it’s also scarier, because aside from the title, this tome is all nonfiction. Bill+Books
     
  285. Successful Film Incentive Would Drain Entire Treasury
    In response to a question from Jon Boguth in Time on what makes Michigan's existing businesses less worthy of tax relief than film producers, Gov. Jennifer Granholm responded, "You can't give tax credits to everybody, because somebody's gotta pay for them." It's a clear admission that the program is not costless. And because the film incentive is so generous, the costs of "success" would be massive.
     
  286. Some Politicians Want It Both Ways on Environment
    Politicians are often anxious to been seen as "green" as they support stringent environmental standards and mandates. Unfortunately, they often ignore the costs of those measures — that is until those costs come home to roost in their own districts.
     
  287. Taxpayer Debt to Pay Government Retiree Health Benefits
    Legislators loading (more) debt onto taxpayers to pay the health benefits of retired government employees may make many voters wonder who these pols really work for. That's the purpose of Senate Bill 927, introduced by Republican Senators Mark Jansen, Bill Hardiman and Roger Kahn. The reality the government employee unions and members want to avoid with such schemes is that there's not enough money in the world to pay these benefits, so the only questions are how big a "haircut" they'll get and when will the pols summon the guts to make the cuts.
     
  288. Michael LaFaive Rebuttal in Detroit News
    Michael LaFaive, director of fiscal policy, responded today to a Detroit News story that distorted information contained in a recent policy brief written by Gary Wolfram, Ph.D., a Hillsdale College professor and Mackinac Center adjunct scholar.
     
  289. MEGA Stories
    Michigan Economic Development Corporation CEO Greg Main boasted that he "would invite (critics) to take a look at the results (of the MEGA targeted tax break program)." We did. Twice. In depth and detail. We found that - at best - MEGA creates no new jobs, and on balance it may even destroy them on a net basis. Further, only 29 percent of the direct jobs promised by its deals ever happened. To date, the MEDC has not refuted a single point of fact, or produced independent, systematic evidence that its approach does squat to create jobs, increase state incomes or expand our economy.
     
  290. The (False) Hope of School District Consolidation
     
  291. Bobb staying on at DPS
    "Robert Bobb will stay on another year as emergency financial manager in Detroit Public Schools."
     
  292. Lawsuit to End DHS Practice of Diverting Funds From Child Care Subsidies Should Move Forward on Merits, Argues Mackinac Center Legal Foundation Director
     
  293. Local Right-to-Work
    A carefully written “local option” law passed by the state legislature could work.
     
  294. Coverage of Michael Tanner Speech at Northwood

    A speech on health care reform at Northwood University last night sponsored by Students for a Free Economy was covered by WEYI-TV25 and the Midland Daily News.


     
  295. German Study Shows Green Energy Comes at a High Cost

    Some American politicians frequently tout the European model as a shining example of energy policy, citing government policies there promoting alternative energy over the past decade. Recent studies out of Spain and Germany, however, indicate that those two countries have been successful in increasing the amount of alternative energy but at a high cost to their economies.


     
  296. "Slashing" Economic Development Staff? Please Sir, Can We Have Some More?
    The Michigan Economic Development Corporation — the lead agency in a statewide "economic development" empire — is arguably the most ineffective, least necessary department in state government. Shrinkage of the agency's staff is good news; staff levels reaching zero would be excellent news! Alas, declines reported by a recent Detroit News article aren't quite what they appear to be.
     
  297. A Real Canadian Health Care Experience
    The Mackinac Center sponsored a luncheon Oct. 26 in Troy where attendees had a chance to meet some of the "stars" of the Center's recent YouTube video series in which Canadian citizens describe the problems they have had with their country's single-payer health care system. Two of those individuals are Shirley McGuin and Mike Jubenville.
     
  298. Preschool: Some more worried than others
    "A preschool administrator in Saginaw County said the budget reduction his program faces is potentially "devastating," but one in Midland County said increased enrollment may make up for state-level cuts."
     
  299. News Release: Nationally Known Speaker and Author on Health Care to Discuss 'Obamacare'
     
  300. Jobs Braggadocio
    The Granholm Administration wasted no time after the Michigan Economic Growth Authority monthly rubber-stamp board meeting on Tuesday to start pumping out press releases bragging that more than 2,800 new jobs were coming to Michigan as a result of selective tax break deals for the latest gaggle of "winner" firms and projects. The MEGA-related jobs claims should be discounted by 71 percent, based on a recent Mackinac Center study that found only 29 percent of the jobs promised by past MEGA deals actually happened.
     
  301. Leaving Some Key Facts Behind
    Governor Granholm and certain quarters of the state media have been very excited by a recent report from the Department of Energy, Labor, and Economic Growth extolling the success of the No Worker Left Behind Program, but the report leaves a lot of questions unanswered.
     
  302. Reed Receives JA Honor
    Lawrence W. Reed, president emeritus of the Mackinac Center, will be inducted into the Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame Wednesday night, according to the Midland Daily News.
     
  303. Mackinac Center Forum on Health Care Coverage
    A public forum about Canadian health care hosted Monday by the Mackinac Center was covered by Reporting Michigan.
     
  304. Latest Charter School Expansion Bid: Pay Ransom
    The legislative defenders of this state’s public school unions and establishment — including horrendously failing school districts like Detroit’s — recognize that they can no longer just stand in the schoolhouse door blocking the exit of students seeking a real education someplace where learning actually occurs. So they've introduced several bills that tepidly move in the direction of expanding the number of charter schools. The latest twist on getting this signed into law is to offer "ransom" payments to the same failing school districts that have created the need.
     
  305. News Release: Nationally Known Speaker and Author on Health Care to Discuss 'Obamacare'
     
  306. MICHIGAN CAPITOL CONFIDENTIAL
    A review and analysis of important state legislative policy issues that do not always receive attention from the general media. Michigan Capitol Confidential will make it easier to keep tabs on your elected representatives in Lansing.
     
  307. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST October 27, 2009
     
  308. NCLB case dismissed
    "A lawsuit against the No Child Left Behind Act — brought by the Pontiac School District and others — has been dismissed, though the National Education Association could appeal."
     
  309. Michigan Government Grows Despite State Budget Woes
    At the state level, government revenues and spending may be falling, but new Census Bureau evidence - considered the "gold standard" in such things, suggests that the overall revenues and spending of all units of government in Michigan have never been higher.
     
  310. Food Stamps and Dyseconomics
     
  311. How Big Is Michigan's Government, Really?
    The Detroit News on Saturday published an article in which reporter Ron French compiled various indicators to suggest that Michigan state government is smaller now than at the start of this decade (“Michigan’s shrinking government”). Actually, gross state spending during this decade rose a modest 3.4 percent after adjusting for inflation, while the state's economy shrunk by 3.3 percent.
     
  312. Center Media Highlights
    Transparency, spending, health care and the state’s budget process were the topics of several media stories involving the Mackinac Center in the last few days.
     
  313. Illness affects MEAP schedule
    "Flu has taken its toll on the Michigan Educational Assessment Program, as nearly 200 schools across the state closed due to sickness for at least part of the annual test week."
     
  314. Ten Things to Look for in Health Care Reform
    Disguised as “reform,” numerous health care proposals are finding support in Congress. The result is a mishmash of plans that do little to improve access, quality or cost. There are at least 10 criteria that provide a foundation for reform.
     
  315. Career courses now offer academic credit
    "Students enrolled in the Genesee Area Skills Center Technology Center now may earn academic credit through career or technology courses taken there."
     
  316. Doctor Shortages Coming to a Country Near You
    Some ObamaCare proponents have claimed that the Mackinac Center's YouTube videos documenting the human cost of Canadian doctor shortages are off base, because the bills in Congress don't create the same system as Canada's. They are both right and wrong - the bills would create a system different in its details, but one with the same dysfunctions, generated by reproducing here the same skewed incentives. Allyssia Finley spells out the details in today's Wall Street Journal, "Obama's Doctor Shortage."
     
  317. Want to Grow the Film Industry? Grow the Economy

    Since April 2008, Michigan has given qualified film productions up to 42 cents on the dollar for every expense they incur in the state. While the state is able to point to a number of films and projects given assistance from this program, the state's motion production and sound recording industries employ fewer people now than when the subsidy began.

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Michigan's movie and sound industries employ 5,222 workers as of March 2009, the most recent month available from the quarterly census of employment and wages. This industry declined by 31.2 percent from a peak in 2002 of 7,586. And even at its peak, this industry accounted for only .2 percent of the state's total employment.


     
  318. “Dis-Unity” Studios?

    A news report from Detroit TV station WDIV seems to indicate that a $146 million film production studio has instead become a boondoggle for the city of Allen Park.


     
  319. Shanghai Surprise: The Unionization of Home Day Care Providers
    Michelle Malkin said it best when she said, "The Culture of Corruption has never hit so close to home." The prominent author, blogger and commentator was referring in a recent blog post to a shady scheme to shanghai Michigan's home day care providers into a newly-formed, dues-paying labor union. Last month, the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation exposed this scheme in its first lawsuit, Loar v. DHS.
     
  320. Center Cited on Prevailing Wage
    Frank Beckmann, host of “The Frank Beckmann Show” on WJR AM760, cited the Mackinac Center in his weekly Detroit News column today.
     
  321. Coincident Indicator?
    This chart might be called the "Political Class Desperation Index." The need for transformational reform of Michigan's tax, spending, labor and regulatory environments is indicated by the skyrocketing unemployment rate. The failure of the political class to buck special interests — including government employee unions — and finally undertake those reforms makes its members increasingly desperate to create the appearance of "doing something." Thus the massive increase in futile picking of winners (and losers) for receipt of discriminatory tax breaks and subsidies. These create diversionary "feel good" stories for local newpapers, but do nothing to reverse the state's economic decline — and may even accelerate it. ("MEGA" is the flagship program of Michigan's bureaucratic "economic development" empire.)
     
  322. Urgent Care
    I am a registered nurse at Genesys hospital near Flint, where the RNs and licensed practical nurses who do direct patient care are represented by the Teamsters. I believe the union-fostered attitude at our hospital works against teamwork. While Genesys is a great place to work, it would be even better if the union acted more professionally.
     
  323. Granholm announces more school cuts
    "Public schools could face a $292-per-pupil cut this year, up from last week's $165-per-pupil estimate, but there is disagreement on the governor's motivation in announcing the higher amount as well as disagreement over whether it is needed."
     
  324. Changes to Michigan Wetland Law Same Old Song
     
  325. Latest MEGA Expansion Won’t Improve Michigan
    The Michigan Economic Growth Authority, the state's lead business incentive program, is primed for new amendments to raise the cap on the number of credits it can award this year. While there are some good transparency efforts in the bill, the state would be better served by eliminating the program and lowering taxes for every business.
     
  326. The State Budget: Why the Wait?
    There's worse things than a state budget that gets done late. Consider what happened when they got it done on time.
     
  327. Is it The Wall Street Journal or The Onion?
    This week, The Wall Street Journal published another critical examination of Michigan's political leadership, economy and budget. In a delicious irony, the online version posted a Michigan Economic Development Corp. advertisement featuring actor Jeff Daniels alongside the piece.
     
  328. Mackinac Center in the News
    A roundup of recent Mackinac Center media citations.
     
  329. Governor pitches need for taxes
    "Gov. Jennifer Granholm made a pitch in Brighton Wednesday for the "targeted tax revenue" she said is necessary to avoid nearly doubling school budget cuts."
     
  330. Union Interferes in the Provision of Health Care
     
  331. The Public Gets It on Climate Change. Why Don't Politicians?
    Forty-five percent of registered voters rated the economy as the most important issue in deciding their vote if the congressional election were held today, according to a news story in Politico; only 4 percent ranked climate change as the top issue. The poll conducted by Public Strategies Research Practice Group, a business advisory firm located in Austin, Texas, is consistent with other recent polling that shows global climate change low on the priority list of most Americans.
     
  332. This Should Get Their Attention
    The City of Detroit has stopped collecting dues on behalf of 16 unions that have yet to reach new agreements with the city of Detroit.  This is a provocative but much-needed step that serves to discipline city employee unions.
     
  333. Timid Government "Efficiency" Commission Report: The Good, Bad & Ugly
    The Michigan "Legislative Commission on Government Efficiency" has released a draft of its final recommendations that fully meets the expectations raised by the "overarching conclusions" that were the subject of a post on this blog two days ago. (Short version: "Bureaucratic gobbledygook won't fix Michigan.") Here is the good, the bad and the ugly of the draft, with the magnitude of each weighted by font size: 
     
  334. Michigan Tops Unemployment For 43rd Month in a Row

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics today released the September state-by-state unemployment rates. Michigan remains the highest in the country at 15.3 percent unemployment. This is the 43rd month in a row that Michigan has been the worst state for finding a job.


     
  335. Mackinac Center in the Media
    Cigarette smuggling and student achievement drew two recent media mentions for Mackinac Center scholars.
     
  336. Media Advisory: Mackinac Center Hosting Forum on Canadian Health Care, Impact of "Universal Care"
     
  337. Guns on campus up for debate
    "Addressing a House committee, some university officials denounced a bill that would stop them from prohibiting concealed weapons on campus."
     
  338. Eureka! Michigan Budget Problems Solved!

    The Michigan "Legislative Commission on Government Efficiency" has come out with a set of "overarching conclusions" that includes this gem:

    Cross-cutting and underlying principles are the foundation of our recommendations
    — Look to optimize across all levels and units of government
    — Address underlying structural issues
    — Be holistic in the approach (look at all aspects of the budget and government operations)
    — Create a roadmap to fiscal stability
    — Be of sufficient magnitude to make a difference

    All clear now? Good — let's get on with it.

    Seriously, these are the kind of vague generalities and bureaucratic gobbledygook where you can almost rearrange words in any particular order and they're no less meaningless.

    In contrast, here's an example of what serious, concrete, specific recommendations for transformational reform really look like.


     
  339. Center's Legal Foundation Cited
    Another home-based day care owner forced into a union has been highlighted by the media.
     
  340. News Release: Four Mid-Michigan Public School Districts Open Books
     
  341. The Corporatism of Nike and Apple
     
  342. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST October 20, 2009
     
  343. Governor nixes '20j' payments
    "Gov. Jennifer Granholm vetoed the part of the state school budget that essentially protected school districts from Proposal A losses."
     
  344. Check One Off "How to Save $2.2 Billion" List — Governor Vetoes "20j" Money

    Gov Jennifer Granholm has actually outdone the Mackinac Center with a cost saving measure enacted on Monday. Specifically, she line-item vetoed the so-called "Section 20(j)" appropriation in the Fiscal Year 2009-2010 K-12 School Aid Budget, which would have granted $54 million to 51 particular school districts that tend to be wealthier ones, with some exceptions. We recommended cutting half the amount in our Here's How to Save $2.2 Billion" series of articles beginning in 2006.


     
  345. Foul Ball
    Some advice for the Detroit Tigers on the ticket tax: if you're going to oppose one proposed tax increase, you may as well oppose them all.
     
  346. Center Cited on Jobs (or Lack Thereof)
    A new study by the Center's Michael LaFaive, director of fiscal policy, and James Hohman, fiscal research analyst, figured prominently in media coverage across Michigan Sunday and today highlighting Michigan's inability to create jobs, despite various programs, subsidies and other give-aways.
     
  347. Teacher, district settle for $106,000
    "A Byron Center Public Schools special education teacher will receive $106,000 in a settlement agreement with the school district."
     
  348. Fix Public Employee Law to Avoid City Bankruptcies
     
  349. -untitled-
     
  350. Union nixes public bargaining
    "The bargaining team of the Howell Education Association turned down an offer from the district to conduct contract negotiations in public, saying it would not be productive."
     
  351. Enviro-Indoctrination

    Among the forms of posturing by the political class is for its members to wrap themselves in a mantle of virtue by imposing the tenets of the latest trendy or politically correct social movement on students and others. Nowhere is the sanctimony more evident than in propagating "green" orthodoxy. Sometimes the pandering carries real economic consequences, and other times the tool is pure indoctrination, such as bills introduced last week to authorize new levels of green-ness in an existing "green school" statute (including "emerald level" and "evergreen level" green-ness), and to require drivers-ed classes to indoctrinate students in - to quote the language of the proposed law - "the importance of carpooling and using public transportation."


     
  352. Waldorf School helps with tuition
    "The Detroit Waldorf School has introduced a Sustainable Tuition model intended to help parents afford its annual $12,500 tuition."
     
  353. Mississippi Not Burning
    Gov. Jennifer Granholm took a gratuitous swipe at the state of Mississippi. The Mackinac Center takes a nuanced look at the Magnolia State's fortunes.
     
  354. Summer of Discontent: Stimulus Money Leads to Payday Mayhem
    Hundreds and maybe even thousands of young people in Detroit apparently had to stand in lines and in the rain for up to four hours to receive paychecks for their summer jobs.  Others did not know where to find their checks. Still others didn't get their paychecks at all. And on several occasions, police were called in for crowd control. The payday mayhem is just one of the many findings of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO).
     
  355. Michigan Is #7 in Income Growth, But...
    The Bureau of Economic Analysis released 2nd quarter personal income growth data. The figures include revenue from all wages, dividends, benefits and transfer payments, and shows which states are growing the most.Michigan grew a remarkable 7th among the states - positive news considering the state's long economic decline. At .7 percent, it wasn't much growth, but the US average was .2 percent.
     
  356. Center MEDC Study in National Spotlight
    A recently released Mackinac Center study about the ineffectiveness of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. is receiving state and national media attention.
     
  357. A Better Choice: Patient-Centered Reform
    As members of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee moved to approve Senator Max Baucus's health care reform bill, the Mackinac Center joined 33 state-based public policy groups in proposing a plan for "patient-centered health reform" that would improve health insurance access and options without creating an entirely new-and expensive-government bureaucracy. (View plan and signatories here.)


     
  358. Turning Michigan Around
     
  359. Superintendent: Teacher behavior ‘deplorable’
    "An after-hours private party that allegedly involved drinking, marijuana use and "drunk shaming" among Haslett Public Schools teachers has been denounced by school officials, but no criminal charges were ever filed in the case."
     
  360. Labor Issues Highlight Center Media Coverage
    Labor issues, including Michigan's Public Employee Relations Act and a lawsuit over forced union dues have been the focal point of the Mackinac Center's media coverage this week.
     
  361. Teacher pay an election issue
    "Five of seven school board candidates in Brighton Area Schools would consider freezing or cutting teacher pay as one way to bring district spending in line with revenue."
     
  362. Pushing on a String
    Yesterday, the Department of Energy, Labor, and Economic Growth announced that its “No Worker Left Behind” program had achieved its goal of enrolling 100,000 participants almost a year early ... This is good news if you don’t think about it too much.  On closer inspection though it looks more like the state is pushing on a string.
     
  363. Energy or Dirt?
    Environmental laws often have unintended consequences. The Michigan Legislature passed a bill that became law in 1995, requiring landfills to compost yard waste. Elected officials decided this was necessary to preserve landfill space - even though Michigan has plenty of landfill capacity for the foreseeable future. Composting produces dirt with high organic content, which is popular for gardens and landscaping (however more dirt is being produced than can be sold, resulting in the material being stockpiled at many landfills). Another problem is producing dirt comes at the expense of producing clean alternative energy.
     
  364. Mackinac Videos: What Canadians Want You To Know About Their Health Care System
    As America moves closer to a government-controlled health care system, anxious Canadians want to set the record straight about life under their country's "universal" system.

    Join the Mackinac Center as it journeys across Canada, documenting harrowing stories from real Canadians of long waits, physician shortages, doctor lotteries, special treatment for insiders and being forced to travel abroad for basic medical care. They're desperate for a way out. And they want YOU to know about it.

    Introduction: "Oh. Canada?" - (First of six videos LIVE NOW) Meet the Canadians who have a warning for us (2:26) :

     
  365. Mackinac Videos: New Episodes! Canadians Hurt by Their Health Care System Speak Out
    As America moves closer to a government-controlled health care system, anxious Canadians want to set the record straight about life under their country's "universal" system.

    Join the Mackinac Center as it journeys across Canada, documenting harrowing stories from real Canadians of long waits, physician shortages, doctor lotteries, special treatment for insiders and being forced to travel abroad for basic medical care. They're desperate for a way out. And they want YOU to know about it.

    Introduction: "Oh. Canada?" - (First of six videos LIVE NOW) Meet the Canadians who have a warning for us (2:26) :

     
  366. Shared services may be in schools’ future
    "Consolidation of services is one likely way public school districts will deal with future budget reductions, the Three Rivers Community Schools superintendent told the school board recently."
     
  367. Home Sweet Dome

    The Silverdome is for sale because Pontiac can't afford to keep it. Michigan lawmakers think other cities need stadiums too.


     
  368. How to Fix Michigan? Cut Cost of Living, Working and Investing Here
    On Oct. 9, 2009, Michael LaFaive, director of the Mackinac Center's Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative, spoke at the invitation of Rep. Justin Amash, R-Kentwood, at an "Economic Town Hall" meeting convened by the representative. Here's what he told the participants: When I was first asked to participate here I was a bit taken back by the specificity of Representative Amash's request. He said, "Mike, my constituents have endured nearly a decade of bad news. I want you to tell them what we're doing right. Give them the good news." So, in conclusion let me say ...Obviously, I am joking but at the same time, I am not joking.
     
  369. Legislature Adopts Center's Quest for Transparency
    The Legislature has agreed to request greater transparency from Michigan's public school districts, adopting a cause the Mackinac Center first took up more than 18 months ago, according to The Grand Rapids Press.
     
  370. Governor Inflates Stimulus Jobs by 84 Percent
    In an appearance on Fox News Sunday, Gov. Jennifer Granholm stated that the stimulus had created or retained 36,000 jobs in Michigan. However, it appears her administration's own count of the figures says that figure is inflated. A running tally on www.michigan.gov/recovery shows that the figure is 19,498.
     
  371. Roadmap to Nowhere
    Last week, while Michiganders shivered through more subnormal temperatures and watched their crop yields freeze from a summer of too-cool weather, a green echo chamber of media, government bureaucrats and activists gathered for a Midwest Governor's Association (MGA) conference in downtown Detroit to draw a "Midwestern Energy Security and Climate Stewardship Roadmap" to help Michigan navigate around . . . global warming.
     
  372. Sherry Loar, Michelle Berry and Paulette Silverson v. Michigan Department of Human Services Case Page
     
  373. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST October 13, 2009
     
  374. Online high school growing
    "An online high school program operated by Wyoming Public Schools is gaining popularity among students."
     
  375. Most jobs 'saved' were in education
    "Nearly 75 percent of the 19,500 Michigan jobs "saved or created" by federal stimulus dollars to date were in education."
     
  376. Assumptions and Realities

    The"Center for Michigan" group has released a study showing that not all Michigan school districts are meeting the federally suggested 180-day school year. Underlying the length of the school year debate is the assumption that more time in school increases student achievement. Unfortunately, it doesn't.


     
  377. Terror on the Boardman River
    As a senior in high school in 1976, I had the opportunity to view the 1968 Halloween horror film classic, "Night of the Living Dead" at the local university campus. A gentleman seated next to me asked for my opinion about halfway through the film, sparking a lengthy conversation on montage and mise-en-scene. The gentleman excused himself shortly thereafter, and appeared on stage as guest speaker upon the film's conclusion. The speaker was none other than the film's writer/director, George Romero. His last words to me before leaving were something along the lines of "You seem pretty sharp, kid. You might want to think about making horror movies yourself." Little did I know it would take me more than 30 years to realize that kind advice. Instead of populating my latest video with flesh-eating zombies and serial killers, however, this Property Rights Network video relates the horrors experienced by property owners on the Boardman River outside Traverse City. Of the four dams on the river, three have been slated for removal by city and county officials.
     
  378. Mackinac Center in the News
    Mackinac Center scholars were cited in four different newspapers - including one from North Carolina - on four different topics Friday, Sunday and today.
     
  379. Colleges say evaluation is unfair
    "Marygrove College and the University of Detroit Mercy say their teacher preparation programs are being unfairly judged by a state evaluation process that could eventually put them out of the teacher training business."
     
  380. News Release: DHS Declines to Defend Merits in Mackinac Center Lawsuit
     
  381. Business Owner Says Value of State Incentives Is Wrong: State Appears Right

    One recipient of government business incentives is angry at the state for publishing an "absurd" value of those incentives, according to the Michigan Information & Research Service. The incident illustrates the need for transparency over the state's economic development efforts.


     
  382. State Pols Fear Warming While Crops Freeze
    Maybe Michigan farmers suffering from low crop yields from yet another cold Midwest growing season can recoup their losses by renting out their fields to combat global warming with state-subsidized wind farms?
     
  383. "Government Is Not Reason, It Is Force"
    Michigan's political class needs to protect government and school employee pay and benefits in the face of revenue shortfalls, so they're pushing tax hikes. Among the proposals are bills to levy sales tax on 20 percent of the bad debts suffered by merchants. Perhaps under the logic and principle of the law the tax should be paid on these, period. However, only going after 20 percent implicitly acknowledges the unfairness, and so sends the following message:"Never mind all that principle and equity stuff. We need the money, we have the power, you don't, too bad, now fork over!"
     
  384. Free-for-All

    An estimated 35,000 city residents rushed the doors of Cobo Hall in a desperate attempt to grab 5,000 federal assistance applications made available to Detroit as part of the "Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program," a federal stimulus fund designed to help residents pay rent and utility bills.

    The resulting chaos is symbolic not only of Detroit's plight but also of the wild lunge for free money that has been the hallmark of the $18 billion in stimulus money thrown at Michigan since last spring.


     
  385. MEGA Database Updated
    The state's economic development department has stopped releasing important information about the state's flagship incentive program, the Michigan Economic Growth Authority. To help make the program more transparent, the Mackinac Center requested documents about each credit awarded through this program and made them available online. You can view the updated database here.
     
  386. Teaching Requires Testing
     
  387. Bing's Gambit
    Detroit Mayor Dave Bing may succeed in pushing city unions into accepting concessions this time, but ordinarily state labor law would give the unions the upper hand.
     
  388. Come Fly With Me: Will Detroit City Airport Get Dose of Fiscal Sanity?

    Detroit Mayor Dave Bing has recommended outsourcing the management of the Coleman A. Young International Airport to save money, as recommended by the Mackinac Center back in 1998. When we did so the city had recently provided the airport with a $1.9 million subsidy. In 2007 (the latest year for which data is available), the subsidy was down to $900,000, but the city's ability to afford any subsidy has collapsed altogether. At this point, the city should investigate just completely unloading the airport with an outright sale.


     
  389. Gov. Granholm, Tear Down the Anti-Coal Order
    Unemployed Michigan workers are being told by environmental groups and our governor that we should forgo shovel-ready construction jobs in building new, environmentally cleaner coal-fired power plants for the promise of jobs sometime in the future building windmills. Approximately 1500 construction workers gathered at the state capitol on October 6, demanding that Gov. Jennifer Granholm abandon her anti-coal bias and let them go to work. Most of the workers are unemployed and need a job — even if it isn't a politically correct green energy job that the governor and environmental groups seem to think they should have.
     
  390. Michigan K-12: Below Average Income, Above Average Costs?
    Can Michigan, a poorer-than-average state, continue to support teachers that are paid more than average? The debate continues.
     
  391. Moviemakers Risk Biting the Hand That Feeds Them
    While some in the Michigan Film Office, film industry and state government are quick to boast about the ever-increasing number of movie productions that have come to Michigan as a result of film tax subsidies, there have been some unforeseen and hard-learned lessons for some Michigan businesses, schools and organizations.
     
  392. Center Cited on Teacher Pay

    WJR's Paul W. Smith mentioned the Mackinac Center and policy analyst Ken Braun's analysis of public school teachers’ salaries during a radio interview of Nolan Finley of the Detroit News. (audio)
     

  393. Gov. Granholm Takes Washington Post for Ride on “Jobs” Numbers
    In a profile that appeared in today's Washington Post, Gov. Jennifer Granholm misused data on her targeted business tax break and subsidy programs, the administration's primary response to a Michigan economy that has lost 632,600 payroll jobs since her inauguration back in 2003. The Post writes, "Since taking office in 2003, Granholm has created 163,300 positions, her office says," a reference to jobs directly attributable to business "incentive" programs. In fact, the most recent data indicates that MEGA, the state's flaghip corporate welfare program, can claim credit for just 7,755 new jobs during Gov. Granholm's six year, nine month tenure in office!
     
  394. Combining Ag With DNR and DEQ Bad News for Farmers
    It appears to be a done deal that Michigan’s Departments of Natural Resources and Environmental Quality will be combined into one agency. Now it appears that the Department of Agriculture may also be rolled into a new tripartite “super agency.” The very mention of this should frighten any Michigan resident involved in agriculture.
     
  395. Mackinac Center in the News
    The Mackinac Center has been cited in various media outlets in the past few days.
     
  396. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST October 6, 2009
     
  397. Governor’s Michigan-Mississippi Comparison is Problematic
    In a press conference today, Mich. Governor Jennifer Granholm argued that tax hikes are necessary. "What we're fighting for is Michigan not becoming Mississippi," she said. However, the rhetorical flourish is undermined by the reality that Mississippi is no longer the "small government = high-poverty" foil that Michigan's political class has often used to justify keeping their government employee constituencies well fed with more tax dollars. 
     
  398. Congress Gets “Best Health Care on the Planet”— Free
     
  399. How Does $10 a Month for Insurance Sound?
     
  400. Government Money, Government Menu
     
  401. Massachusetts Coverage Update
     
  402. The MEA Money Tree
    27 GOP Lawmakers got campaign money from the union that lobbies against the 3 percent reduction in the School Aid budget.
     
  403. Is MSU Hyping Project Labor Agreements?
    Project Labor Agreements are at best an unnecessary headache for both government and contractors. At worst they are another payoff for uncompetitive unionized construction.
     
  404. 10,000 Teacher Layoffs? Let's Try Zero Instead.
    The Michigan Education Association is trying to scare the public and the Legislature by claiming that a $218 per pupil reduction in the state school aid fund would result in 10,000 teacher layoffs. Looking closely at teacher compensation shows that we could achieve the same savings with exactly zero layoffs, and even if savings came directly from layoffs, it would be less than a quarter of what the MEA threatens.
     
  405. Fiscal Storm Clouds Gathering: State Has Solved Little
     
  406. Political Anatomy 101 (Viewpoint)
     
  407. Michigan Economic Dysfunction Corporation
     
  408. Dillon Insurance Plan Could Generate Monumental Reform
     
  409. Motown Magic: Happy 50th
     
  410. Center Cited on Teacher Pay
    Research by Policy Analyst Ken Braun was highlighted in a column by Nolan Finley in today's Detroit News.
     
  411. Center Op-Ed on Nanny State
    An Op-Ed by Communications Director Michael D. Jahr and Assistant Editor Hannah K. Mead was published in today's Midland Daily News.
     
  412. Teacher furloughs have parents scrambling
    "Hawaii teachers will take 17 "furlough Friday" days this year, but some parents want to keep school open by renting the buildings and paying teachers privately to show up."
     
  413. Michigan gets $945,000 reading grant
    "Michigan will receive a $945,000 grant intended to help middle and high school students become better readers."
     
  414. The Price We Pay
    If Michigan's public schools were a business competing in the marketplace, would the 4th highest teacher salaries in the nation put them out of business?
     
  415. EPA Action Is a Tax on Michigan Power Plants and Customers
    The Obama administration’s announcement this week that EPA is going to regulate CO2 emissions from industrial facilities and power plants for the first time by requiring those plants to obtain a permit under the Clean Air Act is bad news for Michigan. The EPA’s action amounts to a new tax on Michigan business and families, which will lead to the loss of more jobs in the state which already is suffering from a 15.2 percent unemployment rate — highest in the nation.
     
  416. Teacher Salaries Need a Closer Look for Michigan to Balance the Budget
     
  417. State to schools: Think outside the classroom
     
  418. Bond issue in Hartland
    "Hartland Consolidated Schools will put a $27.8 million bond proposal before district voters next February, pending approval from the Michigan Department of Treasury."
     
  419. When Is a Tax Not a Tax?
     
  420. Michigan Tax Burden Increases, Census Bureau Shows
    New data from the U.S. Census Bureau show that state and local government tax burden increased from 2006 to 2007. Michigan workers pay on average $8,691 in property, sales, income and other taxes. This is a one-year increase of 5.9 percent.
     
  421. Michael Moore’s Union Dilemma
    ABC News is reporting today that a couple of labor unions are a little miffed that Michael Moore used non-union labor during work on his newest release, "Capitalism: A Love Story", which opens in theaters nationwide tomorrow.
     
  422. "No New Taxes" Budget Mugged by Unions
    The Michigan legislature avoided a state government shutdown last night by caving in to union demands that more of the "stimulus" money being reserved for next year - when the state really goes over a fiscal cliff - be used to avoid a 3 percent cut to school aid. The Mackinac Center's Jack McHugh explains in a Current Comment today that this dynamic explains all of Michigan's troubles:"At the root of Michigan's budget debacle and almost all its other major problems one will find a union, which helped the problem grow and now is stopping it from being fixed. Fix that problem - the union excessive political power of unions - and the transformational reforms Michigan needs become possible. Don't fix it, and we lurch from budget crisis to budget crisis, with politicians offering the false choice of 'cuts vs. tax hikes'."
     
  423. Center Cited on State Budget
    The Mackinac Center was cited today by World Magazine in a story about the Michigan Legislature's failure to balance the fiscal 2010 budget and its self-created $2.8 billion overspending crisis.
     
  424. Howell teachers want raise
    "Howell Public Schools teachers have requested a 1.5 percent pay hike in the latest round of contract negotiations, while the district wants a 1 percent payback."
     
  425. A Commentary on “The Retrenchment of the State Employee Workforce in Michigan”
     
  426. News Release: Mackinac Center Releases Critique of Recent Paper ‘The Retrenchment of the State Employee Workforce in Michigan’
     
  427. Union's Torpedoes Target "No New Taxes" Budget
    The root of Michigan's ongoing budget debacle is government employee unions.
     
  428. ObamaCare Is Tyranny
     
  429. Market-Based Reforms Could Expand Insurance Coverage in NY
     
  430. Celebrities Need a Voice
     
  431. Fiscal Storm Clouds Grow Darker, More Ominous
    As the last day of Fiscal Year 2009 draws to a close legislators are struggling to enact a new Michigan state budget for FY 2010. This afternoon Gov. Granholm sent out notices of impending layoffs should a deal not be reached. After using one-time using federal “stimulus” money the state still needs around $1.3 billion in program reductions and/or new revenues (higher taxes, more fees) to close the budget gap.Yet even if another midnight deal is reached and state government opens for business as usual tomorrow, the current challenge probably pales in comparison to the fiscal storm on the near horizon.
     
  432. House GOP K-12 Defectors Identified?
    Update on K-12 budget vote as fiscal year deadline looms...
     
  433. Budgets: Where's the (Sliced) Beef?

    Don't get me wrong - there are real cuts in these budgets working their way through the House and Senate. However, it's still jarring to see things like this in MichiganVotes.org:

    The House-Senate conference report for the Department of Human Services (Welfare) budget. This would appropriate $5.941 billion in gross spending, compared to $4.580 billion enrolled in 2008.  $4.974 billion of this budget is federal money, compared to $3.174 billion in FY 2008-2009.
    Passed in the House (69 to 39)
    Passed in the Senate (20-17)
    (The "no" votes are people who want to spend more.)


     
  434. Punishing the Good Neighbor
    Lisa Snyder has watched (without compensation) a five-year old kindergartener for her widowed neighbor and a seven-year old boy for another neighbor for a short period of time as they wait for the school bus. The Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS) made national news by demanding that she become a licensed day care provider. But what has largely been overlooked is that if Ms. Snyder were to go through the licensing process, she would thereby become a member of a purported government employees’ union.
     
  435. Big Labor Says: "NO CUTS!"
    A big labor union is calling up its favorite Republicans and telling them not to cut the budget.
     
  436. How Will They Solve the Budget Dilemma?
    Mackinac Center analysts were cited in two Detroit-area newspapers today about how Michigan can address its current financial difficulties.
     
  437. Michael Moore and the Michigan Film Incentive: Is There a Happy Ending?
    It’s apparently not a love story between filmmaker Michael Moore and Michigan’s generous refundable tax subsidy for the movie industry. In his quote about the program in a Sept. 29, 2009, blog post on the Michigan Messenger Web site, Moore is clearly not even enamored with it: “If it’s not good for Michigan,” he said, “Michigan shouldn’t do it.”
     
  438. Pupil Count Day
    For public schools and their employees, "pupil count day" is one of the most important days on the school calendar. Judging by the actions of some large school districts throughout the state, count day trumps the first day of school, MEAP testing days, and graduation day. Many schools go all out trying to corral as many students as possible to show up on this day-of-days.
     
  439. AFT picks Detroit over Las Vegas
    "The American Federation of Teachers will conduct its 2012 annual meeting in Detroit rather than Las Vegas so that the union does not appear to be on a junket."
     
  440. You Say You Want a Revolution...
    Thank you for contacting the Mackinac Center and Capitol Confidential about our views on whether citizens should approve a state constitutional convention, which will be on the 2010 ballot. The Center doesn’t have any “official” view on this, but I’m glad to share my own, with which most of my colleagues generally agree. In short, it's “If you let slip the dogs of war, you can’t control where they run.” (Or something like that.)
     
  441. Lansing Talks Tax Hikes as Michigan Poverty Increases
    Poverty rate data released today shows that Michigan fell further in its economic status. The percentage of Michigan residents living in poverty increased from 14 percent to 14.4 percent in 2008, according to the Census Bureau release.
     
  442. The Bills of September
    Facing a Sept. 30 deadline to adopt a budget for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, the legislature has been busy with more than just closing the desired-spending vs. expected-revenue gap (a.k.a. “the deficit”). So far this month they have introduced 270 bills. That is 270 new laws proposed by a legislature of 148 souls in less than 30 days. By month’s end the total will surely be well over 300. To be fair, some of these are related to the budget. Tax increase proposals, for example – on one day alone 25 of these were introduced. In addition to the tax hikes there were bills covering every subject under the sun.
     
  443. Faux Savings
    The Michigan Education Association union is leading the education establishment's attacks on lawmakers plan to pass a no-new-taxes budget that among other things reduces state spending on public schools. In a podcast posted yesterday, MEA president Iris K. Salters repeated a claim she made in an Aug. 26 Detroit News Op-Ed, that school employees "probably have saved over $700 million" in health care costs. Salters does not disclose the source of this figure.
     
  444. Babysitter's Saga Illustrates Licensure Madness
    The saga of a Middleville woman investigated by the state Department of Human Services for the crime of keeping an eye on some neighbors’ kids as they waited for the bus has gone national after having been all over the blogosphere for days.
     
  445. "What is the Reason for the Existence of House Republicans?"
    Q. If it comes down to an all-cut budget, can House Republicans be counted on to supply the needed votes?

    "If House Republicans can't be counted on to support an all-cut budget, what is the reason for the existence of House Republicans?" DiSano said. "That caucus is filled with hard-line conservatives who talk tough in GOP primaries. Now is their chance to shine and cut, cut and cut some more. The question is do they have the guts to go home and explain these cuts?"

     
  446. 2007 Redux
    Jack McHugh, senior legislative analyst, is quoted in a Detroit News article today about Michigan's budget negotiations and the possibility of a government shutdown if a balanced budget is not passed by midnight tomorrow.
     
  447. What ‘Human Action’ Has Meant to Me: Reflections of a Young Economist
     
  448. Teacher retirees would get $40,000
    "More than three quarters of Hazel Park Schools teachers are at the top of the district salary scale, earning about $76,000 a year each."
     
  449. Medical Professionals Make Bad Climate Prescription
     
  450. The Bills of September - Bills
     
  451. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST September 29, 2009
     
  452. Center Op-Eds in Detroit-area Newspapers
    Op-Eds by two Mackinac Center authors were recently featured in the Dearborn Times-Herald.
     
  453. Mixed results on academic help program
    "Farwell Area Schools reported mixed results from an after school and summer program for students who need academic help or need to make up failed classes."
     
  454. The Bone of Contention
     
  455. Michael LaFaive Cited on Tax Hikes
    Michael LaFaive, director of the Mackinac Center's Morey Fiscal Policy, was cited in today's Lansing State Journal in a story about the public's disinterest in tax hikes. The Michigan Legislature currently faces a self-created $2.8 billion overspending crisis and has until midnight Wednesday to eliminate it and pass a balanced fiscal year 2010 budget. The Legislature passed $1.4 billion in tax hikes in 2007 to balance the state budget, since which time Michigan's unemployment rate has doubled.
     
  456. Real estate scandal alleged in DPS
    "Detroit Public Schools may have overspent millions of taxpayer dollars in real estate purchases and management services related to Cass Technical High School."
     
  457. Quincy signs contract
    "Quincy Community Schools teachers and school board members have approved a contract under which the salary schedule will remain the same for two years and increase by 1 percent in the third year."
     
  458. A Rebuttal to the MEDC's Wall Street Journal Letter Part III
    Yesterday, I published the second part of this essay, which uses an MEDC letter-to-the-editor in the Wall Street Journal to illustrate the agency's pattern of using illegitimate rhetorical devices in response to serious critiques, including distractions, irrelevancies and non sequiturs. Part I was published Wednesday. Here's third and final part:
     
  459. Ecorse Officials' Arraignment Highlights Need for Transparency
    Following up on yesterday's report of possible corruption in Detroit Public Schools, The Detroit News reports on the arraignment of Ecorse's mayor and controller, who have been charged with conspiracy, bribery and fraud with regards to the city's public works contractor. The pair allegedly received at least $10,000 and a Lexus from the contractor, according to The News.
     
  460. Michigan Parents Choose Choice
    Do parents really want school choice? Ab-so-lutely. According to a Michigan Senate Fiscal Agency report titled “Explaining School Choice,” when given the ability to choose their children’s school, Michigan parents are exercising that choice at increasing rates.
     
  461. The Coming $50 Billion Budget Battle
    The state is currently wrestling with how to close a $2.8 billion budget deficit for fiscal year 2010. Some of the proposed cuts to state spending are significant and debate over them may be holding up completion of the budget, which must be passed by midnight Sept. 30 to avoid a government shutdown.
     
  462. Wetlands: Democrats Get it Right for the Wrong Reasons
    The Michigan Senate has voted to keep the state wetlands program targeted by Gov. Jennifer Granholm for return to the federal government. The vote was along party lines with the Republicans voting to keep the program and the Democrats voting against the legislation. Once again, legislators from both parties have come to the wrong conclusion.
     
  463. Detroit News Highlighting Center's Transformational Reform Ideas

    In an effort to help this state's political class bust out of its narrow conceptual box the Detroit News is running a "50 ideas to fix Michigan" feature, solicited from various entities that have a few. The Mackinac Center tried to provide ideas that no one else would offer, that represent not just "cuts" but genuine transformational reform in the way the state does business, and that truly "blow up the box" that constricts most conversations on state budget issues to a simplistic "cuts vs. tax hikes" formula. The first Mackinac Center idea highligted by the News is one we first offered back in 2003, to save $65 million without reducing the number of law enforcement officers by devolving Michigan State Police road patrols to county sheriff deputies - something the Lansing budgeteers should have on the table this week as they struggle to craft a budget that "saves" the jobs of 105 troopers eliminated last spring.


     
  464. USA Today Cites Center MEDC Research
    USA Today cited a recent Mackinac Center study showing that just one-third of jobs promised by the Michigan Economic Development Corp. have come to fruition.
     
  465. "Tenther" Smear Has a Problem: The Posturing Is Bipartisan
    Reason's Radley Balko notes that center-left publications including the The American Prospect and The New Republic (plus our own Blogging for Michigan) are "pushing the 'Tenther' smear, aimed at lumping those who, horrors!, still take seriously the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in with the Obama birth certificate deniers and 9/11 truthers."

    At least in Michigan, however, the partisan smear mongers have a challenge: Politicians from both parties are showing themselves to be bipartisan posturers on this issue.

    Last week the Republican-run Michigan state Senate passed its own meaningless 10th Amendment resolution 31-0 vote. All the Dems who were present voted "yes." (Two Dems and two Repubs were absent.)
     

  466. Political Anatomy 101
     
  467. Charter, reform advocates rally
    "Charter public school and education reform advocates gathered at the Capitol in Lansing on Thursday to rally for legislation that would address failing schools, create new forms of public schools and permit alternative teacher certification."
     
  468. Kansas Agencies Stops Helping Pro-ObamaCare Union
     
  469. One Set of Rules for Us — and Another for the Political Class
     
  470. Billions Served
    Proposed K-12 cuts are not so scary in real-world context. If we hired teachers from the state of Washington, then we could cut almost 4 times as much.
     
  471. Tourism Subsidy Beneficiaries Chant on Capitol Steps: "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!"
    Actually we don't know what they chanted, but MIRS News reported that that tourism-related business officials did demonstrate in front of the Capitol yesteray, protesting a proposed cut to the state's "Pure Michigan" advertising campaign.Here's a concept for them: If ad campaigns like Pure Michigan are really such a success, why don't the hotels that benefit from this taxpayer largesse pay for it themselves? That the tourist industry's members refuse to do so speaks volumes about the program's real value.
     
  472. DPS Building Scandal Highlights Need For Transparency
    The Detroit News today writes about a possible scandal regarding building construction and land purchases by Detroit Public Schools. The district paid more than $156.2 million for services it may have obtained for $15 million, according to The News. It underscores the importance of transparency.
     
  473. A Rebuttal to the MEDC's Wall Street Journal Letter Part II
    Yesterday, I published the first part of this essay illustrating how an MEDC letter-to-the-editor responding to a critical Wall Street Journal editorial illustrates the agency's pattern of using illegitimate rhetorical devices to avoid responding to the substance of serious critiques, including distractions, irrelevancies and non sequiturs. Here is the second part of the essay, deconstructing other statements in MEDC CEO Greg Main's letter.
     
  474. Register For High School Debate Workshops
    The deadline to register for one of the four Mackinac Center 2009 High School Debate Workshops is approaching fast.
     
  475. Union Political Power, Not Institutional Shortcomings, at Root of State's Dysfunctions

    As Michigan faces the potential for yet another budget debacle, frustrated citizens and pundits wonder if there aren't institutional reforms that might mitigate the apparent inability of our state's government establishment to solve long-festering dysfunctions. Things like a part time or unicameral legislature, biannual budgeting, etc.

    Unfortunately, there appears to be no correlation between these different institutional arrangements and the level of dysfunction in a state's political/government establishment. However, the inability to solve problems - and the depth of those problems - does appear to be correlated with another factor:

    States with strong, politically-active unions - in particular public employee unions - tend to be the ones that have fallen and can't get up. Where unions are much less powerful and influential the worst dysfunctions have been avoided, both economic and governmental.

    In short, at the root of Michigan's budget debacle and almost all its other major problems one will find a union, which helped the problem grow and now is stopping it from being fixed.


     
  476. School Privatization Can Offset Budget Cuts
    An Op-Ed by the Center's James Hohman and Eric Imhoff in today's Detroit News highlights the millions of dollars public schools can save by privatizing noninstructional services.
     
  477. Harding Discusses Cap-and-Trade
    Russ Harding, Mackinac Center senior environmental analyst, discussed cap-and-trade and other energy issues in Oakland County recently.
     
  478. Lawmakers propose $218-per-student cut
    "Public schools would receive $218-per-pupil less in state funding under budget plans that emerged from House-Senate committees Wednesday."
     
  479. Florida Medicaid Reform Going Strong
     
  480. Don’t Inflict New York on the Rest of Us
     
  481. One in 6 NHS Patients Misdiagnosed?
     
  482. Skating on Potomac River Ice in the Middle of a “Snowe” Storm
     
  483. This Is Not Astroturf?
    Critics from the pro-spending, pro-government side of the ideological spectrum have famously been throwing the charge of “Astroturf” — i.e. fake “grass roots” — at the various TEA Party gatherings and town hall meetings that have been flaring up across the nation since April 15.
     
  484. Are We Being Too Tough on Hollywood?
    The Mackinac Center for Public Policy has been critical of the Michigan Film Incentive since its inception in 2008. At first, the criticisms were focused on the pure principle of the thing: state government has no business trying to pick corporate winners from losers in the marketplace. This time, the perceived “winner” would be moviemakers who could get cash refunds of up to 42 percent of money spent in Michigan. This also became the most generous film incentive in the country.
     
  485. A Rebuttal to MEDC Letter in The Wall Street Journal
    On Sept. 4, The Wall Street Journal published an editorial titled “The Michigan Example,” excoriating the state’s reliance on government central planning to “create” jobs, rather than undertake genuine overall business climate reform. The editorial was based in part on research published a few days earlier by myself and James Hohman.
     
  486. Political Anatomy 101
    Confidence in government breeds complacency in politics. When people think government is handling things tolerably well, they see no reason to pay much attention to politics. When confidence sinks from low to lower, grass-roots political energy spikes upward. That’s why people are now leaping off the sidelines and into TEA parties and raucous town hall meetings to protest sky-high taxes, exploding deficits and the government’s attempt to take over health care. Smart politicians can seize this opportunity by exercising an oft-neglected part of the political anatomy: the spine.
     
  487. State Tested, State Approved
    Michigan law mandates that nearly all teachers pass the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification. The state claims these tests are “criterion referenced and objective based,” but reading through some of the sample questions provided on the MTTC Web site, I wonder how “objective” these tests really are. It’s well known that universities are disproportionately staffed with men and women of the left, but it’s rather startling to find the same type of ideological bias in state-mandated teacher certification tests.
     
  488. As The Water Rises ... (25 tax hikes in one day!)
    As the Sept. 30 deadline approaches for adopting a Fiscal Year 2009-2010 state budget, there is considerable angst among the political class about the agreement House Speaker Andy Dillon, D-Redford Township, and Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop, R-Rochester, which is characterized as a "cuts-only" solution to the massive gap between the amount legislators would like to spend and the amount of taxes and fees the state expects to collect (a.k.a. "the deficit").
     
  489. Center Cited on Transparency
    The Mackinac Center's ongoing efforts to get public schools, municipalities and legislators to post spending online for public inspection was highlighted by WEYI-TV25 today.
     
  490. News Release: Three Michigan Public School Districts, Two Charter Schools and the City of Portage Open Checkbooks for Public Inspection
     
  491. Adrian participates in pinwheel project
    "Students at Adrian Middle School created and displayed about 400 pinwheels in the school foyer recently as part of a "whirled peace" project."
     
  492. ‘When we’re done with you, you will have options’
     
  493. A Cheer for Charity
     
  494. Michigan Median Household Income Falls
    Michigan median household incomes grew by 1.7 percent, according to a release today by the U.S. Census Bureau. Adjusted for inflation, Michigan incomes fell by 2.4 percent. Overall, the national median household income decreased by 1.3 percent. Unlike much economic news in the past decade, a number of other states are sharing in the downturn.
     
  495. Jackson gives edge to local contractors
    "Jackson Public Schools has adopted a policy of hiring local contractors for large jobs, as long as the local bids are within 5 percent or $10,000 of the lowest bid."
     
  496. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST September 22, 2009
     
  497. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST

    • Jackson gives edge to local contractors
    • Three charged with election crime
    • Lawsuit against charter may be at end
    • Gibraltar: Drug co-pay, no premium payment
    • Caucus to focus on funding equity


     
  498. Personal Insurance Mandate Is Unconstitutional
     
  499. 564 Amendments
     
  500. Where Insurance Costs Go Down, Not Up
     
  501. Michigan Sets Another Dubious Record
    Data released last Friday by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that for the second month this year, Michigan was burdened with an unemployment rate exceeding that of Puerto Rico. Michigan’s rate was 15.2 percent while Puerto Rico’s stood at 15.1 percent.
     
  502. Three charged with election crime
    "Three people, including two board members, have been charged with crimes related to the Buena Vista school board election in May."
     
  503. Homeschoolers Against ObamaCare
     
  504. If You Don’t Like Insurance Companies, Why Subsidize Them?
     
  505. A Law for Lilly — or Is It Eli Lilly?
     
  506. State Supreme Court won’t take case
    "Michigan Collegiate High School and Middle School came out ahead in an ongoing legal battle recently, as the Michigan Supreme Court refused to take up the City of Warren's case against the public charter school's development."
     
  507. Mackinac Center Launches Legal Foundation; Sues DHS
     
  508. Gibraltar contract boosts drug co-pay
    "Gibraltar Schools teachers will pay more out of pocket for prescription drugs, but will not have to contribute to their health insurance premiums under the terms of a new contract between their union and the school district."
     
  509. The Uninsured in Georgia
     
  510. Washington Supreme Court Throws out Med Mal Reform
     
  511. How Much Will Free Health Care Cost Louisiana?
     
  512. Back to Baucus: Marginally Less Awful
     
  513. Journalism or Propaganda?
     
  514. Caucus to focus on funding equity
    "State legislators have formed a caucus intended to work toward equitable funding among public schools."
     
  515. Unemployment Rate Increases
    State-by-state figures are not released until Friday, but today the state released August employment and unemployment figures. After decreasing in July, Michigan's unemployment rated inched back to 15.2 percent.
     
  516. News Release: Mackinac Center Launches Public-Interest Law Firm
     
  517. District sues over tax ruling
    "Covert Public Schools is suing the Michigan State Tax Commission over a property tax ruling that could reduce district revenue by $2.4 million this year."
     
  518. The Future of Health Care in America:
    A Roundtable Discussion

     
  519. Litigation Backgrounder: Loar v. DHS
     
  520. Who’s Uninsured and Why?
     
  521. Will Doctors Be Forced Into Union Membership?
     
  522. I’ll Be Watching You
     
  523. Florida Reform Hasn’t Done Much
     
  524. SEIU Requests Contact Info for Kansas HCBS Providers
     
  525. Senate Finance Bill: Only Slightly Less Deadly
     
  526. Have LASIK, Will Travel
     
  527. Government Already Practices Rationing — and Will Do More
     
  528. Cold, Cruel Insurance Companies
     
  529. If You Can't Tax Coal, Kill It With Regulation
    Coal has become the bête noire of the environmental movement. Environmentalists would eliminate coal (coal-fired power plants produce 48.5 percent of the of the nation’s electricity, according to the U.S. Department of Energy) by making it so expensive to use that other forms of alternative energy could compete economically.
     
  530. Recent Health Care Facts and Fallacies
     
  531. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST September 15, 2009
     
  532. Brighton teachers to pay more for insurance
    "Brighton Area Schools teachers will receive pay raises and step increases, but also contribute more to their health insurance costs in the next two years, a move expected to help the district address its overspending problems."
     
  533. Lotto would cover college costs
    "Super lotto games would help cover college costs for all Michigan residents under a proposal introduced this week by state Rep. Fred Durhal, D-Detroit."
     
  534. Minnesota Governor Makes Health Reform Charge
     
  535. Alternative Ways of Paying for Health Care
     
  536. White House: Public Option Will Cause Private Market to Shrink
     
  537. Who cares about your health care?
     
  538. New Info on the Cost of Obamacare
     
  539. Looking for reform? Don’t look to BCBS-Michigan
     
  540. Kennedy School Cites Massachusetts Reform as a Model
     
  541. A Little Media Bias on Health Reform for You?
     
  542. Opening a New Front in the Battle for Freedom
     
  543. Let’s Be Honest and Call It Welfare, Not Insurance Reform
     
  544. Appealing to the Insured
     
  545. Fact-Checking the President’s Speech
     
  546. Rhode Island Medicaid Reform Could Be Costly
     
  547. Mental Gymnastics and the President’s Speech
     
  548. The Cost of National Health Reform to Florida
     
  549. Losing Choice in More Than Just Health Care
     
  550. Unintended Consequences: How a Popular Reform Would Lead to Unpopular Results
     
  551. Are Public Universities a Good Analogy for the Public Option?
     
  552. Minnesota Web Site Allows Price Shopping for Health Services
     
  553. Bad Public Policy Built on Bad Data
     
  554. Oakland: Property decline means cuts
    "Oakland Schools will eliminate 86 positions, freeze wages and require nonunion employees to take five unpaid furlough days in response to predictions of a 24 percent drop in revenue by 2013."
     
  555. Oklahoma Reviews Cost of Insurance Mandates
     
  556. Republican Leader: Not Just “No.” We’ve got alternatives, says Pence
     
  557. What's in the Bill?
     
  558. Shikha Dalmia's Take on Health Care Speech
     
  559. Baldwin ready with scholarship money
    "The Baldwin Promise Authority has collected enough money to award its first scholarships to Baldwin Community Schools Class of 2010 graduates, organizers announced recently."
     
  560. Green Jobs Fad Means More Government Intervention
    The Michigan Economic Development Corp., state Legislature, governor and other supporters of government “jobs” programs have adopted an almost pop-culture idolatry for all things environmental by showering taxpayer subsidies upon corporations claiming to bring purportedly “earth friendly” products to market. It has a shiny, new green paint job, but in fact this is just the latest in a long line of failed state economic development program fads.
     
  561. Governor's Proposal: Equivalent of 58 Percent Surcharge
    Gov. Jennifer Granholm has gone public a laundry list of proposed tax hikes and “loophole closings.” It's a "death by a thousand cuts" strategy, which most items extracting relatively small amounts, or targeted at politically powerless populations like smokers. Unfortunately, these little injuries add up to a lot of blood drained from Michigan's already ailing economy.

    To put this in perspective, to raise the same amount of revenue raising business tax rates, the current (and reviled) 22 percent surcharge on the Michigan Business Tax would have to be raised from 22 percent to 51 percent. Alternatives, the governor and legislature could jack-up the stat income tax by another 11 percent, increasing the rates from 4.35 percent to 4.85 percent. (estimates on revenue from each tax are available here.)
     

  562. Paul Kersey Discusses PERA
     
  563. Analysis: Health pool could save millions
    "A proposed statewide health care pool for all public sector employees could save Michigan taxpayers between $565 million and $875 million a year."
     
  564. Responses to the 27th Health Care Speech by Obama
     
  565. Pay More, Get Less! What a Bargain!
     
  566. Lives shattered by government health insurance
     
  567. US Does Not Lead World in Rising Health Care Costs
     
  568. When Spending Other People’s Money, Waste Is Inevitable
     
  569. Employer Mandates Kill Jobs, Reduce Incomes, Decrease Private Coverage
     
  570. Swine Flu Frenzy
     
  571. Irony
     
  572. More Mandates in Michigan
     
  573. Alabama Traps More Children In Government Care
     
  574. The Two-Handed Menace to Private Health Care
     
  575. When State Government Fails
     
  576. Live-Blogging the Health Care Speech
     
  577. President Obama’s Big Proposal
     
  578. Building-for-tuition swap in Hancock
    "Finlandia University and Hancock Public Schools have entered a school building-for-tuition agreement that gives the university more classroom space and local high school graduates a free college education."
     
  579. MEDC President: LaFaive Is Right
    Greg Main, president of the Michigan Economic Development Corp., told a Grand Rapids Press columnist that he agrees with Michael LaFaive, the Mackinac Center's fiscal policy director, that the MEDC should be more transparent.
     
  580. Bus drivers stay on in Adrian
    "Adrian Public Schools students will see familiar faces behind the wheel of most school buses this year, as half of the bus drivers formerly employed by the district accepted jobs with First Student, the district's new bus service provider."
     
  581. Poverty is 2009 national debate topic
     
  582. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST September 8, 2009
     
  583. News Release: Public School Support Service Privatization Increases 5.4 Percent in Michigan
     
  584. Price Controls, One Provider at a Time
     
  585. Subway at a School Near You
     
  586. Health Policy Alternatives in North Dakota
     
  587. Is There a Doctor in the County?
     
  588. School Privatization Survey Shows Gains in Support Service Contracting
     
  589. MEDC Should Become Transparent — or Disappear
     
  590. Advice From the Nanny State (Viewpoint)
     
  591. Take a Closer Look at Issues With Canadian Health Care
     
  592. Christian school closes in Burton
    "Valley Christian Academy in Burton has closed due to financial pressures caused by dwindling enrollment."
     
  593. Home-schoolers do well on standard tests
    "The nation's home-schooled children score, on average, at the 88th percentile on standardized tests in reading, math and language."
     
  594. Smoking Bans Violate Property Rights
    Common sense can be found almost anywhere outside Lansing -- especially as it pertains to property rights and smoking bans.
     
  595. Tea and Astroturf
    There has been a steady drumbeat of accusations this summer from defenders of the “big government solution” side of the health care debate that the “town hall” and “TEA Party” protests against members of congress are organized by insurance companies, the Republican Party and various other so-called “Astroturf” agitators who don’t represent “normal” Americans. If one actually attends these events (as I have) the absurdity of this allegation becomes abundantly clear.

    However, if the “Astroturf” pejorative has any meaning at all, surely it would apply to a protest event on which the official press secretary for one of the major political parties is doing the PR work for the “grassroots project,” AND is acknowledging that the grassroots project and its work are all tied directly to the political party’s national committee.
     

  596. State or federal, protectionism hurts
    Protectionism is an ever-popular area for demagoguery by politicians on both sides of the aisle. Protectionist bills introduced in the Michigan Senate and passed by the House would require employers who receive state and local construction, service or purchase contracts to only hire Michigan residents, with some exceptions. I can’t speak for Michigan employers like Haworth furniture or Kelly Services that may seek contracts with other state governments, but suspect that they would not be grateful if our legislature helped promote a state-level trade war by passing its own brand of “Smoot-Hawley” protectionism.
     
  597. Fabricating the Facts: The MEA’s New Health Insurance Study
     
  598. More schools make AYP
    "The percentage of schools making "adequate yearly progress" rose from 80 to 86 percent in Michigan in 2008-2009."
     
  599. Fabricating the Facts: The MEA’s New Health Insurance Study
     
  600. Doctors fed up with government, insurance companies
     
  601. Massachusetts Reform Results: Delays, Costs Explode
     
  602. Reverse the Status Quo to Liberate Health Care
     
  603. Georgia Legislators Say “No Thanks!”
     
  604. Michigan Legislator Invokes the Tenth
     
  605. Health Care Straw-Men
    “Righties” (at least the fit ones) may not want to be forced by the government to subsidize the bad habits of others, but (grudgingly) do so when choosing to pay for their own insurance. For their part, some “lefties” wouldn’t mind giving the government some new powers to force "Cheetos-scarfing, beer-swilling coach potatoes" to shape-up.
     
  606. Push for Green Jobs Ignores Economic Realities
     
  607. Michigan's Public Employment Relations Act: Public-Sector Labor Law and Its Consequences

     
  608. Thumb area schools dispute MESSA
    "Dispute continues in Thumb-area schools over a union-affiliated health care plan, as many public school districts report at least an 8 percent rate hike."
     
  609. News Release: Michigan's Public Employee Relations Act Undermines Democratic Principles and Adds to Cost of Government, According to New Mackinac Center Study
     
  610. What to do about Medicare
     
  611. One Million Receive “Cruel and Neglectful” Care Under NHS
     
  612. The British “Death Panels”
     
  613. Michigan Government Employees Face Few Visible Health Care Costs
     
  614. Obama’s Health Care Reform Plan to Be Revealed
     
  615. Building on Today’s Insurance Environment
     
  616. Government health care + U.S. tort system = tax-funded lottery
     
  617. State Campgrounds Need Help From Private Sector
    The DNR is asking for public input regarding what campgrounds should be closed.
     
  618. Gadhafi for Auto Czar?
    The Detroit News says there was a big party in Tripoli, yesterday to celebrate the Gadhafi coup's 40th anniversary. A more local angle on this event is Gadhafi’s other role as an international man of business. You see, he was into Bailout Nation WAY before it was cool. Early 1979 was the last time Chrysler teetered on the brink of insolvency – that time asking (and eventually winning) $1.5 billion in bailout loan guarantees from the U.S. taxpayer. In this most recent go-round the bankruptcy bailout wheel, ChryCo was pushed into becoming a subsidiary of the supposedly stronger Fiat. But Fiat has had an interesting government bailout history of its own . . .
     
  619. Mackinac Center Health Care Roundtable Sept. 16
    The Mackinac Center for Public Policy, The Heartland Institute, Consumers for Health Care Choices, and Americans for Prosperity – Michigan, invite you to an exclusive roundtable discussion. “The Future of Health Care in America” will be held in Rochester, Mich.on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2009.  Discussion leaders will include some of the most innovative organizations and thought leaders in American health care today. The roundtable provides a forum for individuals from varied backgrounds to come together and work through the challenges facing consumer-driven health care in the new Administration. 
     
  620. New "Bipartisan Tax-Hike Cover" Panel?

    Gov. Jennifer Granholm has offered a rather odd proposal to involve four outside individuals as “mediators” in the process of her office negotiating a Fiscal Year 2009-2010 state budget with the Democratic House and Republican Senate in the face of a nearly $2 billion gap between desired spending and expected revenue.

    Mirs News (subscription required) calls the move, “reminiscent of the Governor's Emergency Financial Advisory Panel (chaired by former Govs. William Milliken and Jim Blanchard), which she appointed in January 2007 to give direction on the state's budget crisis. . . Ultimately, few of the issues raised by the EFAP ever made it into the legislative debate.”

    True, but the panel served it’s real purpose nevertheless, which was to give “bipartisan” cover to what the governor had decided as early as December, 2006, which was to go for a major tax increase. As the Mackinac Center’s David Littmann predicted at the time, and as was eventually proved by events.


     
  621. Trick, or Treat
    The Michigan Legislature is this morning taking up House Bill 5275, a bill that authorizes a Michigan Economic Growth Authority business tax credit deal for a battery cell manufacturing facility.
     
  622. Budget deal includes more Mackinac Center ideas
    The state has until the end of the month to pass a budget and a key figure, Mich. Speaker of the House Andy Dillon just stated that an agreement is "very close". While a number of the Mackinac Center's reform ideas are being discussed for this budget, the speaker is looking at more.
     
  623. Saginaw debates use of MME scores
    "Saginaw City School District high school students made gains on the Michigan Merit Exam in 2009, but the school board president said students would have an incentive to do even better if their scores were "integrated" into their overall academic record."
     
  624. If Government’s Involved, It’s Not Free Market
     
  625. West Virginia Governor Gets It — Partly
     
  626. Does the “right” want to throw Cheetos-scarfers under the bus?
     
  627. The Moral Imperative of Getting Health Reform Right
     
  628. Health Care Reform Is a Tax Increase
     
  629. Four-Party Talks and Health Care
     
  630. Retail Clinics Score High on Quality Metrics
     
  631. The West Bank of the Detroit River
    Prosperity is measured by what it takes to shop for food.
     
  632. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation: A Review and Analysis
     
  633. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST September 1, 2009
     
  634. District wants health care cap; teachers picket
    "Health insurance is the sticking point in a contract dispute in the Woodhaven-Brownstown School District."
     
  635. Young Voices for Freedom
     
  636. Dillon State Health Plan Details Released
     
  637. How About More Non-Government Options?
     
  638. Health Care Policy, the Video
     
  639. Sally Pipes on the Realities of Canadian Health Care
     
  640. Political Combat and Language
     
  641. Medicaid May Drive Sales Tax Hike in Arizona
     
  642. Shifting Public Opinion on Obamacare
     
  643. Longer School Year Won’t Improve Student Achievement
    Voices around the state and prominent education officials are calling for Michigan to lengthen its school year and increase the amount of time students spend in class.
     
  644. High-Speed Rail Will Take Michigan Nowhere Fast
     
  645. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation: A Review and Analysis

    Video by Kathy Hoesktra, Mackinac Center communications specialist


     
  646. MEDC Ineffective, Nontransparent and Should Be Eliminated, According to New Mackinac Center Study
     
  647. State health plan details released
    "Public workers would receive health care under one of an array of plans crafted by the state employer under a proposed statewide health insurance system."
     
  648. A Distinction Without a Difference
     
  649. Open Wallet, Get Less: Some lessons from a universal vaccination program
     
  650. End-of-Life Choices and Government
     
  651. ‘Neighborhood schools’ bills move
    "School reform measures that would allow parents and teachers to open public "neighborhood schools" passed the Senate Education Committee on Thursday."
     
  652. Union head alleges retribution
    "While a tentative contract agreement has been reached in Traverse City Area Public Schools, the teachers union president says he has been reassigned in retribution for speaking out about contract issues."
     
  653. Schools venture into alternative energy
    "Kalamazoo Valley Community College and Sturgis Public Schools both announced alternative energy programs this week."
     
  654. Prescription for Reform Should Include End to Third-party Payer System
     
  655. Seeing the potential in deaf education
     
  656. Minnesota Insurers Roll out Price-Shopping Site
     
  657. Iowa Gubernatorial Candidate Touts Health Care Cures
     
  658. Prescription Drugs — Denied!
     
  659. Flagging Down a Lawsuit
     
  660. Hospital Bed Shortages Lead to 4,000 Births Outside Maternity Wards in UK
     
  661. The U.S. Pays More, and Gets More, for Health Care
     
  662. Paternalism in Action
     
  663. Want Some Competition? Open Up the State Lines
     
  664. Parlez-vous Francais?
     
  665. Delaware Drug Dispute Settled
     
  666. The Ethical Problems of Government-Ruled Health Care
     
  667. Public vs. Private Is the Wrong Focus in Reform Debate
     
  668. More Subsidies, Less Privacy
     
  669. To Expand Access, Make Health Care a Market Good, Not a Right
     
  670. When Hospitals Kill Patients
     
  671. Private Enterprise v. Free Enterprise
     
  672. Why Doesn’t the President Start His Own Insurance Company?
     
  673. Lower Spending on Health Care Comes at a Price
     
  674. A Recipe for Failing Schools
     
  675. DPS to ask voters for $500 million bond
    "Detroiters would pay construction debt for an additional 15 years if they approve a $500 million bond issue to build or renovate a number of school buildings."
     
  676. Consultant: 200 schools in red by 2011
    "A school consultant predicted that about 200 Michigan public schools will be in the red by the year 2011 due to reduced state funding."
     
  677. Personal Choices Affect Health Care Stats
     
  678. But Is It Constitutional?
     
  679. Fat Old Lawyers
     
  680. Stupid Is As Stupid Does
     
  681. Health Reform Bills Would Put an End to Choice
     
  682. Georgia Shows the Way
     
  683. The Ad ABC Doesn’t Want You to See
     
  684. Medicare for All as the Golden Calf: Catholic priest on the idolatry of the religious left
     
  685. Texas Gave Tort Reform a Chance
     
  686. How Much Will This Cost?
     
  687. Ending the Oligopoly
     
  688. Empower People, Not Insurance Companies
     
  689. Beware of Official Cost Estimates of New Health Plans
     
  690. News Release: Carman-Ainsworth, Lakeview, Birch Run School Districts Post Checkbooks Online
     
  691. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST August 25, 2009
     
  692. Christian, public schools share teachers
    "About 15 Holland Christian Schools teachers will become employees of Holland Public Schools this year, but continue to work in the Christian school setting."
     
  693. July/August 2009 Michigan Capitol Confidential Articles
     
  694. Howell: MEA skewed truth on privatization
    "Howell Public Schools officials said the Michigan Education Association intentionally distorted the truth when it published an article claiming the district did not save money by hiring a private firm for custodial services."
     
  695. Keeping Your Insurance When You Can’t Keep Your Job
     
  696. You’ve Got Questions, They’ve Got Answers
     
  697. Massachusetts + Personal Mandate = Highest Premiums in U.S.
     
  698. Insurer Plays “Mother, May I?”
     
  699. Rising Insurance Premiums No Surprise
     
  700. Help You Live, No; Help You Die, Yes
     
  701. Michigan knows the costs of government health care
     
  702. Bank says no on school loan
    "Comerica Bank declined to open a line of credit for South Redford Schools recently, citing the district's declining fund balance."
     
  703. Manistique bids to be ‘demonstration district’
    "Manistique Area Schools is bidding to become a "demonstration district" under a state program that may award funding to school districts to test innovative education methods."
     
  704. The Legacy of Rose Friedman: Champion of Liberty
     
  705. Road commission hires students
    "The Macomb County Road Commission will renew and expand an agreement with Macomb Academy under which special education students are hired to do custodial work at road commission offices."
     
  706. Where Do Your United Way Dollars Go?
     
  707. Learning From the States at North Dakota Policy Forum
     
  708. Enshrining Health Freedom in the Constitution
     
  709. ObamaCare is just the latest “Great New System”
     
  710. Nebraska VA Hospital Needs Major Repairs
     
  711. New York: Don’t Dump Medicaid Expansion on Us
     
  712. Minnesota Legislator: Our Medicare Problem Requires Upending YOUR Private Insurance
     
  713. This Is About My Children
     
  714. Brian Dickerson: “Why do I have to pay for Cheetoh-scarfers?”
     
  715. A sign of the state of waiting lists in Canada
     
  716. Ballot Proposals Cast a Pall on Michigan
     
  717. Algebra II bills move
    "The House Education Committee and the full Senate have passed separate measures that would allow high schoolers to graduate without taking Algebra II, with backers saying students would learn sufficient math through vocational courses."
     
  718. Splitting the health insurance bill
     
  719. GR teachers sign contract
    "Grand Rapids Public Schools teachers will receive a 2 percent raise in 2009-1010 but pay more for health care benefits under a tentative contract agreement they ratified in voting this week."
     
  720. Pharma Can Live Under Price Controls; Medical Innovation Won’t
     
  721. Tennessee Gov. Says “Don’t Cost Shift to Me”
     
  722. Learning from TennCare
     
  723. The end of the "public option"?
     
  724. Postitive Steps to Health Reform
     
  725. Bye-Bye “Public Option,” but So What?
     
  726. North Dakota to Offer “Create a Mandate” Simulation
     
  727. Canadian doctors’ top priority: overhauling their health-care system
     
  728. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST August 18, 2009
     
  729. Students billed for Promise costs
    "At least three state universities already are billing college students for what used to be Michigan Promise scholarship money, while others are taking a wait-and-see approach."
     
  730. News Release: Mackinac Center Economist: Film Incentive Possible Job Killer
     
  731. MICHIGAN CAPITOL CONFIDENTIAL
    A review and analysis of important state legislative policy issues that do not always receive attention from the general media. Michigan Capitol Confidential will make it easier to keep tabs on your elected representatives in Lansing.
     
  732. Who’s to Blame in Smoking Argument?
     
  733. Preschool on again in Kalamazoo
    "Nervous about funding, Kalamazoo Public Schools will move ahead with preschool this fall, but may suspend it midyear if state money is eliminated."
     
  734. News Release: Mackinac Center Posts Hundreds of New School Employee Union Contracts Online
     
  735. You Can’t Expand Personal Choices Through More Government
     
  736. Retail Clinics Continue to Expand
     
  737. Will health care reform increase choice for Michiganders?
     
  738. Apparently Not Aware of Medicaid, Medicare’s Problems
     
  739. Stimulus dollars fund specialist’s job
    "Addison Community Schools will hire a behavioral intervention and student support specialist using stimulus money."
     
  740. Bridgeport ties bonus pay to AYP
    "Superintendent Gloria J. Rubis will make $95,000 as the new chief administrator in Bridgeport-Spaulding Community Schools, but can earn up to $3,000 more if district schools make "adequate yearly progress."
     
  741. Longer School Year Won’t Improve Student Achievement
     
  742. Are Proposals for High-Speed Rail a Boondoggle?
     
  743. Schools anticipate funding cuts
    "Still not sure of their 2009-2010 state funding levels, some public school administrators are sounding the alarm about a potential $500-per-pupil reduction by 2010-2011."
     
  744. Parents sue over school closing
    "A judge has said he will rule by the end of the month on whether Bloomfield Hills Public Schools must continue to operate Pine Lake School."
     
  745. Preventive Medicine As a Cost-Saver Is a Myth: CBO
     
  746. Rationing by Price Is Better Than Rationing by Rules
     
  747. Is health care a right in America? Is it a right anywhere?
     
  748. Will health reform lower costs for Michiganders?
     
  749. School accreditation plan hits snag
    "State education officials and some legislators are divided over whether and how much the federal No Child Left Behind act should affect Michigan public school accreditation."
     
  750. Delay Your Fines for Free?
     
  751. Delay Your Fines for Free?
     
  752. The Whole Foods approach to health care reform
     
  753. Heat of the Battle
     
  754. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST August 11, 2009
     
  755. Most seniors not 'college-ready'
    "Only 16 percent of Michigan's Class of 2009 is "college ready," if ACT scores are used as a predictor."
     
  756. What’s “normal” in Canadian health care
     
  757. Promise Zone work begins in Lansing
    "Ten community members were named to the Lansing School District's Promise Zone advisory board last week and now will begin the work of establishing scholarship guidelines and raising money."
     
  758. Washtenaw to ask for two mills
    "Voters in 10 public school districts in Washtenaw County will be asked to approve a new, 2-mill school tax in November."
     
  759. Strike talk in Detroit
    "Detroit teachers are among public employees threatening to strike in opposition to wage cuts, furloughs or other union concessions planned by city or school administrators."
     
  760. Schools move to November elections
    "More school districts are moving to cost-saving November elections."
     
  761. Advice From the Nanny State
     
  762. Audits: Millions in waste at DPS
    "Detroit Public Schools paid about $2.1 million a year for health coverage for people who weren't eligible, an audit released Wednesday showed."
     
  763. Pontiac may push for stimulus flexibility
    "The Pontiac School District budget for 2009-2010 rests on using stimulus dollars in a way that is not allowed."
     
  764. Leslie keeps MESSA; no raises
    "Teachers in Leslie Public Schools will retain their current insurance administrator but mostly give up pay increases under a four-year contract agreement reached this week."
     
  765. “Let’s not try to sell a government-run plan using free-market rhetoric.”
     
  766. Facts *are* stubborn things
     
  767. Are Medical Markets an Inherent Failure?
     
  768. With government health care, sometimes you can’t go home again
     
  769. 20/20 segment on health care reform
     
  770. Michigan charter school law
     
  771. On Balance, School Health Insurance Proposal an Improvement
     
  772. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST August 4, 2009
     
  773. Detroit’s Schools Are Going Bankrupt, Too
     
  774. Jackson Learning Lab: The Hope of Success for All Learners
     
  775. The EFCA Rodeo
     
  776. Massachusetts Should Not Be Michigan’s Role Model
     
  777. Teachers divided on fast track certification
    "About 42 percent of Michigan teachers do not oppose a proposal to speed up the teacher certification process for people who already have a background in math or science."
     
  778. Diminishing Private Sector Keeps Supporting Bloated Public Benefits
     
  779. Longer School Year Won’t Improve Student Achievement
     
  780. If you’re going to suffer, please do so quietly
     
  781. So much for “You will be able to keep your plan. Period.”
     
  782. States Rebelling Against Nationalized Health Care
     
  783. Guerilla infiltration of Canada’s health care system: Don’t get sick on Sunday
     
  784. Milton Friedman Legacy Day
     
  785. Ball of Confusion
     
  786. Addison to apply for construction loan
    "Addison Community Schools will apply for an interest-free loan for school construction through the federal stimulus program."
     
  787. On future insurability
     
  788. Great video set
     
  789. Wrestling coach files suit
    "A former high school wrestling coach has filed a discrimination lawsuit against Dearborn Public Schools and a high school principal who is Muslim."
     
  790. A Legislator’s Model Apology
     
  791. MEGA, the MEDC and the Loss of Sunshine

     
  792. A MEGA Loss of Sunshine
     
  793. News Release: MEGA and MEDC Growing “Aggressively Less Transparent,” Says Center Analyst
     
  794. More groups back statewide health plan
    "Support is growing for the idea of consolidating public employee health care into one statewide plan."
     
  795. Freedoms you’ll lose under the congressional reform plan
     
  796. Health care costs and bankruptcy
     
  797. 83-year-old Swedish woman too old to receive treatment
     
  798. You get what you pay for in health care
     
  799. Detroit’s Schools Are Going Bankrupt, Too
     
  800. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST July 28, 2009
     
  801. Make-or-break millage in Saugatuck
    "Saugatuck Public Schools residents will vote Aug. 4 on what school officials say is a make-or-break millage renewal."
     
  802. On Balance, School Health Insurance Proposal an Improvement
     
  803. MEGA Annual Report 1998
     
  804. Teacher massage scam alleged
    "A Flushing-area chiropractor has been charged in an alleged $48,000 insurance scam involving teacher massages."
     
  805. Stimulus pays for lunch equipment
    "About 160 Michigan public schools will share $2.5 million in federal stimulus money to purchase school lunch equipment."
     
  806. National Heritage continues expansion
    "A charter public school company headquartered in Michigan is working to open schools in Louisiana and Colorado."
     
  807. Combining DNR and DEQ Wrong Solution
     
  808. E-mail exchange part of recall controversy
    "Another e-mail controversy has emerged in Howell Public Schools, this time related to an effort to recall three school board members."
     
  809. News Release: Norwood Township and Two More School Districts Show Michigan the Money
     
  810. With 53 percent opposed to it, why rush health care reform?
     
  811. The reality of health care cost estimates
     
  812. Two Michigan legislators pledge to read health care bills before voting
     
  813. Report: States should rethink master’s pay
    "In tough economic times, one place where school districts could save money is by halting the practice of automatically paying teachers more for advanced degrees."
     
  814. IMPACT Summer 2009
     
  815. A Fire Sprinkler Mandate in Michigan?
     
  816. Proposed State Requirement Could Limit Affordable Housing
     
  817. AG: More charters legal in Detroit
    "State Attorney General Mike Cox said in a legal opinion Monday that declining enrollment has triggered the mechanism allowing more charter public schools to open in Detroit."
     
  818. Dillon plan opens debate
    "A proposal to create a statewide health pool for public employees is drawing support from some southeast Michigan business community representatives, but criticism from labor unions."
     
  819. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST July 21, 2009
     
  820. State Committee to Consider Mandatory Fire Sprinklers in New-Construction Michigan Homes
     
  821. Policy varies on hiring family members
    "Allegations of criminal sexual conduct brought against a Grand Rapids Public Schools employee has raised questions about the practice of hiring family members of school board members or administrators."
     
  822. Staggering Statistics Scream for Dramatic Policy Changes
     
  823. Unemployment, Migration Statistics Underscore Failure of MEDC, Says Mackinac Center Economist
     
  824. Obama pushes for fast reform
     
  825. Lutheran school may close
    "Michigan Lutheran Seminary may face closure after the coming school year, depending on whether delegates to a Lutheran synod convention choose to spend money on mission work or education."
     
  826. Cadillac cuts Great Start
    "Cadillac Area Public Schools will essentially eliminate its Great Start Readiness Preschool Program as a way to reduce spending, though the district superintendent praised the program as effectively helping youngsters prepare for kindergarten."
     
  827. The Nature of Teachers Unions
     
  828. Detroit City Council’s Flying Circus
     
  829. Dillon: Overhaul public sector health plan
    "House Speaker Andy Dillon has proposed a single health care plan for all public workers and retirees that he says could save up to $900 million a year through standardized coverage and economies of scale."
     
  830. Health Rations and You
     
  831. Massachusetts to cut coverage for legal immigrants
     
  832. Van Beek named Mackinac education policy director
    As director of education policy, Van Beek will lead the Center’s efforts to promote choice, quality and effective use of resources in all educational settings.
     
  833. MME scores mainly unchanged
    "Michigan Merit Exam scores in math and writing increased slightly in 2009, but less than half of all test-takers were proficient in either subject."
     
  834. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST July 14, 2009
     
  835. DPS hires turnaround firms
    "Four private education management firms will work to turn around what one administrator called "shameful" achievement records at 17 Detroit high schools."
     
  836. Privatization leads to recall
    "Three school board members in the Benton Harbor Area Schools are being targeted for recall after voting to privatize transportation services."
     
  837. Too Big to Succeed?
     
  838. Materials From Grand Rapids Roundtable
     
  839. Cap-and-Trade and Health Care
     
  840. Lessons From Mutants
     
  841. Stimulus spending decisions begin
    "School officials in southwest Michigan are looking for ways to use short-term stimulus money for long-term impact."
     
  842. Board won’t pursue tenure hearing
    "An Alpena teacher and coach has resigned in the wake of an investigation into his alleged inappropriate communications with a junior varsity basketball player."
     
  843. Massachusetts vs. Georgia
     
  844. NICE in America?
     
  845. Markets provide low-cost alternatives for uninsured
     
  846. Budget questions stall negotiations
    "Uncertainty about state funding is one reason for lengthy teacher contract negotiations in Alma and Shepherd."
     
  847. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST July 7, 2009
     
  848. Muskegon settles on health plan
    "Muskegon teachers will see reduced insurance premium contributions but increased copays under the terms of a new contract agreement."
     
  849. Diminishing Private Sector Keeps Supporting Bloated Public Benefits
     
  850. Obama’s top five health care lies
     
  851. Parsing the health care reform myths
     
  852. John Goodman on the social cost of health reform
     
  853. Acton reports on Health Care Roundtable
     
  854. Detroit: The Triumph of Progressive Public Policy
     
  855. Flawed MSU Film Subsidy Report Misleads Taxpayers
     
  856. Transparent Failures
     
  857. A Perfect Storm: Batten Down the Hatches or Drown
     
  858. “Obama-Care’s” Unintended Consequences
     
  859. CEPI: 2008 grad rate is 75 percent
    "A state report shows that about 75 percent of Michigan's Class of 2008 graduated within four years, while the dropout rate among that cohort was 14 percent."
     
  860. News Release: Check Registers Now Online for Plymouth-Canton Schools and Six Other Districts
     
  861. Stimulus pays youth for career training
    "Federal stimulus money has turned an educational experience into paying jobs for 18 students enrolled in a program at Beaumont Hospital."
     
  862. Recall under investigation
    "A recall effort against four school board members is under investigation by Michigan State Police, but a detective said that his work might not be finished before the recall election itself."
     
  863. The Only True Freedom Is Freedom for All
     
  864. When We Should Break a Promise
     
  865. Open Secrets: Michigan’s Freedom of Information Act
     
  866. Open Secrets: Ken Braun on Michigan's Freedom of Information Act
     
  867. Open Secrets: Ron Dzwonkowski on Michigan's Freedom of Information Act
     
  868. Ypsilanti adopts deficit budget
    "The Ypsilanti school district plans to spend about $3 million more than it takes in during the 2009-2010 fiscal year, which means it also will have to file a deficit elimination plan with the state to explain the shortfall."
     
  869. Lieberman doubtful about public option’s prospects
     
  870. High costs of universal coverage
     
  871. “Don’t mess with my right to medical choice.”
     
  872. There ain’t no such thing as free health care
     
  873. Algonac considers outsourcing

    "The Algonac Community School District may privatize its custodial and bus services, but is giving current employees a chance to make a counter proposal first."


     
  874. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST June 30, 2009
     
  875. Open Secrets: Michigan’s Freedom of Information Act
     
  876. Bankruptcy next for DPS?
    "Potential bankruptcy, continuing budget problems, more staff cuts and allegations of theft at Detroit Public Schools all were reported by Detroit media during the past week."
     
  877. Health Savings Accounts Can Save Michigan Money
     
  878. Taxing health benefits isn’t a bad thing — if it’s done right
     
  879. On Michigan’s proposed health reforms
     
  880. One way to get health insurance
     
  881. More health care cuts
     
  882. Health Care Horror Story: Premature baby must cross border for care
     
  883. GR revamps alternative programs
    "Only 33 percent of the students enrolled in Grand Rapids alternative high schools graduated last year, a number the district believes can be improved by switching to online courses, extended days and hours and a lower student-adult ratio."
     
  884. Is Buying a Chrysler or GM Vehicle Unpatriotic?
     
  885. ACLU: School discipline is uneven
    "African-American students are suspended or expelled at disproportionately higher rates than white students in Michigan."
     
  886. The costs of mandatory insurance
     
  887. Pay hike, premium contribution in TBAISD
    "Employees in the Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District will receive pay hikes, contribute 10 percent to their health insurance premiums and move to a new insurance plan under the terms of a newly signed contract."
     
  888. Union: ‘Ghosts’ probably not teachers
    "The "ghost employees" that may be drawing paychecks from Detroit Public Schools probably aren't teachers, according to the union president, because they apparently aren't paying union dues."
     
  889. Great Lakes Water Levels Are Up: Must be Global Cooling
     
  890. Health care reform: fully paid for?
     
  891. More reform myth-busting
     
  892. Do we need public insurance?
     
  893. Budget concerns and care rationing
     
  894. Romeo budget hinges on concessions

    "Headed into contract negotiations, the Romeo school board has adopted a $50 million budget that counts on $2 million in employee wage or benefit concessions."


     
  895. Right-to-Work States Outpacing Michigan
     
  896. The Future of Health Care in America: A Roundtable Discussion
     
  897. Niles home-schoolers create museum display
    "Home-school students from the Niles area put together an archaeology exhibit for the Fort St. Joseph Museum recently."
     
  898. What does $1 trillion get you?
     
  899. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST June 23, 2009
     
  900. School leaders float ideas on saving money
    "Regional labor contracts, a statewide teacher pay scale and consolidated administration are among the proposals that a group of Michigan school leaders want the state to consider."
     
  901. Open Secrets
     
  902. (Un)covering the News
     
  903. Economic Freedom and Human Prosperity
     
  904. News Release: Mackinac Center Unveils "Right-to-Work Dashboard"
     
  905. Government health care unconstitutional?
     
  906. MICHIGAN CAPITOL CONFIDENTIAL
    A review and analysis of important state legislative policy issues that do not always receive attention from the general media. Michigan Capitol Confidential will make it easier to keep tabs on your elected representatives in Lansing.
     
  907. Applying economics to ed research
    "Michigan State University has received a $5 million grant to train education researchers in economics."
     
  908. News Release: The Mackinac Center and Novi Schools Inspire City of Novi to Take Lead on Local Government Transparency
     
  909. Health care horror story: Lindsay McCreith
     
  910. DPS, Doug Ross talk partnership
    "The emergency manager of Detroit Public Schools and the head of some of the city's most successful charter schools said Thursday that preliminary talk is under way about a joint project at DPS' Mumford High School."
     
  911. Whiteford expands food privatization
    "Four cafeteria workers employed by Whiteford Agricultural Schools in Monroe County will be transferred to the company that manages the district's food services, but a union official predicted a lawsuit over the move."
     
  912. An ounce of prevention?
     
  913. BCBS seeking a rate hike
     
  914. Michigan may get its own state-funded insurance
     
  915. Vested interests
     
  916. Will your insurance be safe?
     
  917. Like it or not, Obama’s plan is socialized medicine
     
  918. Stiffer penalties for striking teachers
    "Michigan teachers could lose certification for two years if they take part in a strike, under legislation recently introduced in the state House."
     
  919. May/June 2009 Michigan Capitol Confidential Articles
     
  920. MEA wants ISD to turn over fund equity
    "School employees and Michigan Education Association leaders want Oakland Schools to turn over more of its fund equity to local districts."
     
  921. TEA Party Activists Can Keep Their Momentum
     
  922. The Refuge: Summer 2009
    "A man's house is his castle — et domus sua cuique est tutissimum refugium."
    — Sir Edward Coke

     
  923. Proposal would end Promise
    "Senate Republicans have proposed eliminating the Michigan Promise scholarship in the beginning rounds of state budget discussions, but the education adviser to Gov. Jennifer Granholm said the governor will not sign on."
     
  924. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST June 16, 2009
     
  925. Bargaining details posted; union angry
    "Teachers union officials in Traverse City are "appalled" that the school district posted details about ongoing contract negotiations on its Web site."
     
  926. A First Step
     
  927. Fewer teachers retiring
    "Kalamazoo area school districts won't save as much money as usual on teacher retirements this year because fewer educators have opted to leave the classroom."
     
  928. Parents, teachers could run schools
    "Parents and teachers could run their own independent "neighborhood schools" under legislation introduced in the state House Thursday."
     
  929. Privatization key to Lakeview budget
    "The money saved by privatizing custodial and maintenance services and eliminating transportation, combined with increased enrollment, will allow Lakeview Public Schools to maintain staffing levels and buy textbooks and technology in the coming year."
     
  930. Legislative Alert
     
  931. Longer school year on the table
    "Michigan lawmakers may mandate a 170-day school year over concern that some districts are shortchanging students."
     
  932. Chrysler’s Bailout Will Backfire
     
  933. Special Effects: Flawed Report on Film Incentive Provides Distorted Lens


     
  934. Lawrence W. Reed Speaks About Grover Cleveland
     
  935. State proposes new school rating system
    "State education officials want to implement a new rating system for public schools, though it means more than 100 schools would likely lose their current accredited status."
     
  936. State board considers fundraising
    "The State Board of Education might get into the fundraising business by forming an education foundation and public/private partnership arrangement."
     
  937. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST June 9, 2009
     
  938. MichiganScience No. 10
    MichiganScience is a Mackinac Center quarterly magazine that helps meet the need for accurate and accessible information about the increasingly complex scientific issues confronting voters and lawmakers. The magazine reflects the idea that even the most technical scientific policy issues can be discussed with lively prose and compelling visuals.
     
  939. When the Union is Your Employer
     
  940. Mackinac Center Study Defends Eight Budget Reforms Proposed by Gov. Granholm
     
  941. Study: College grad rates average 53 percent
    "Of all first-time college students who enrolled in four-year colleges in 2001, only 53 percent graduated within six years."
     
  942. Insurance hikes vary in Pinckney
    "Pinckney Community Schools will lay off 14 teachers as it plans for a decline in enrollment and higher health insurance and diesel fuel bills."
     
  943. Eight Is a Start: Where Gov. Granholm's Budget Recommendations and the Mackinac Center's Agree


     

  944. News Release: Mackinac Center Study Defends Eight Budget Reforms Proposed by Gov. Granholm
     
  945. How to Save $2.2 Billion
     
  946. The Eternal Struggle
     
  947. GM Bankruptcy’s Impact on Michigan
     
  948. The Issues Michigan Must Address
     
  949. TVs a reward for top ACT scores
    "Keeping a promise made by a predecessor, a Beecher Community Schools administrator presented flat screen TVs to two students who earned the district's best scores on the ACT exam."
     
  950. Regulatory Revolution Needed in Michigan
     
  951. DPS considering privatization
    "Eighty percent of the employees in the Detroit Public Schools curriculum department will be laid off by the end of June, while 11 cabinet-level executives will not be invited back when their contracts run out."
     
  952. The Impact of Government on the Auto Bankruptcies
     
  953. Teachers caught in tenure mix-up
    "Several former charter public school teachers say they will appeal a state decision denying them tenure and also will ask Wyoming Public Schools to give them jobs next year."
     
  954. The Impact of Government on the Auto Bankruptcies
     
  955. Transparent Failures
     
  956. Attorney: Home-schoolers must defend parental rights
     
  957. News Release: Michigan Goes Full Decade Without GDP Growth
     
  958. Hospital-turned-school to open in 2010
    "An abandoned hospital and adjacent medical plaza will become home to a charter public school, medical offices and an assisted living facility over the next three years."
     
  959. Teachers authorize 'further action'
    "Woodhaven-Brownstown teachers have authorized their bargaining unit to "take action" to settle a contract, but stopped short of calling it a strike vote."
     
  960. News Release: Elite School Districts Join Growing Transparency Trend
     
  961. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST June 2, 2009
     
  962. Math, science center needs more room
    "When its state funding was reduced, the Battle Creek Area Math and Science Center found a different way to bring in money — selling science kits to K-12 schools across Michigan."
     
  963. Judge: Official can’t keep both posts
    "A Muskegon school board member who also is a county commissioner says he will appeal a judge's ruling that he must step down from one of the elected offices."
     
  964. Arizona expands tuition tax credits
    "Disabled children and those in foster care in Arizona will be eligible for private-school scholarships following action by state lawmakers this week."
     
  965. Three Cheers for Transparency
     
  966. Proposal would shorten path to teacher certification, for some
     
  967. MICHIGAN CAPITOL CONFIDENTIAL
    A review and analysis of important state legislative policy issues that do not always receive attention from the general media. Michigan Capitol Confidential will make it easier to keep tabs on your elected representatives in Lansing.
     
  968. Trustee says she didn’t intend to resign
    "The Okemos school board is moving ahead with plans to replace one of its members, though the trustee said she did not intend to resign."
     
  969. Michigan Legislators Must Solve Their Overspending Crisis with Budget Cuts
     
  970. School Union Denounces "Dangerous Trend" Toward Private Food, Busing and Janitors
     
  971. DFT chief: Teachers must be open to change
    "Detroit teachers must not only be willing to reform education, but should be contributors to the process, union leaders told them at a training session Tuesday."
     
  972. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST May 26, 2009
     
  973. Pontiac school plan ends up in court
    "A circuit court judge has offered to facilitate discussions between Pontiac school teachers and the school district over the district's reorganization plan."
     
  974. When meeting time is also mealtime
    "A survey of what's on the menu — literally — when public officials in northern Michigan gather for meetings turned up such fare as continental breakfasts, pizza and full-course meals."
     
  975. Stimulus money causes spending arguments
    "While some Michigan school districts are making plans to spend federal stimulus dollars, others say they are waiting for firm guidelines, and an argument has erupted in at least one location."
     
  976. Another U Prep charter to open
    "The Thompson Education Foundation and the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan will fund the construction of a new public charter high school opening in fall 2010 on the Detroit riverfront."
     
  977. Tea Party Toolbox
     
  978. In the red, Pontiac hires D.C. law firm
    "The Pontiac school district has agreed to pay a Washington, D.C., law firm up to $250 an hour to push for more latitude on spending federal stimulus money."
     
  979. Michigan Exports Are the Bright Spot in the Dark Economy
     
  980. The Impact on Government of the Auto Crisis in Michigan
     
  981. For Immediate Release: May 20, 2009
     
  982. Schools grapple with spending
    "As the June deadline to adopt a balanced budget nears, school district after Michigan school district is telling a story of declining enrollment, flat per-pupil funding and a consequent shakeup in staffing and programs."
     
  983. Busing goes private in Benton Harbor
    "A visit from the president of the Michigan Education Association teachers union was not enough to prevent the Benton Harbor school board from hiring a private firm to provide transportation services."
     
  984. The Impact on Government of the Auto Crisis in Michigan
     
  985. Students protest principal’s departure
    "Western International High School students and staff staged a walkout on Monday after learning that their principal would not return next year."
     
  986. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST May 19, 2009
     
  987. Tax incentives under question
    "Michigan has no way to know if the millions of dollars it hands out in tax incentives and tax abatements are effective because it doesn’t systematically measure the results."
     
  988. David Littmann Discusses Michigan’s Economy
     
  989. Eating veggies in Taylor
    "Students at Blair Moody Elementary School in Taylor are growing, eating and selling vegetables and herbs as they make use of the school’s newly built greenhouse."
     
  990. Teacher PAC case at Supreme Court
    "The question of whether public school districts can deduct money from teacher paychecks for the political arm of the Michigan Education Association has reached the Michigan Supreme Court."
     
  991. Economic Freedom Matters
     
  992. Students for a Free Economy II
     
  993. How to Save $2.2 Billion
     
  994. Duncan: Bing should take over
    "Mayor Dave Bing should take control of Detroit Public Schools, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan suggested this week, and Bing said he would be willing to do so."
     
  995. Leveling the Playing Field

    A guide to labor law for charter school staff. This 105-page book explains how Michigan's labor law works and in particular how and why unions are formed. The book also gives advice on how charter schools can maintain good relations between teachers and administrators.


     
  996. Senate Bill Would Rein In State Regulatory Agencies’ Powers, Says Center Analyst
     
  997. Mackinac Center Releases Labor Law Guide for Charter Schools
     
  998. Be Careful What You Ask For
     
  999. Monroe pays less for health insurance
    "Monroe Public Schools will pay less for health insurance in the coming year because employees didn’t request much actual health care last year."
     
  1000. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST May 12, 2009
     
  1001. Littmann: 'Unemployment in Michigan will be approaching somewhere between 17 and 20 percent by the end of this year'
     
  1002. Henry Ford Institute to open Texas campus
    "The Henry Ford Learning Institute in Michigan will open a high school in San Antonio this fall."
     
  1003. The Economic Impact of the Auto Crisis on Michigan
     
  1004. Debate Workshops 2009
     
  1005. Superintendent: MESSA too expensive for us
    "If the Benton Harbor school board votes to hire a private company to take over busing, the main reason will be the cost of union-affiliated health insurance."
     
  1006. The Economic Impact of the Auto Crisis on Michigan
     
  1007. Compromise on D.C. vouchers
    "Students in the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program would continue to receive vouchers for private school tuition for at least one year and possibly until they graduate from high school under a compromise suggested by the Obama administration."
     
  1008. Voters say no in Saugatuck
    "Voters rejected an 18-mill school tax renewal in Saugatuck on Tuesday, leaving Saugatuck Public Schools without 60 percent of its operating funds, according to The Holland Sentinel. Board members promised to return to voters in August with a better explanation of the district’s need for the money."
     
  1009. Union candidates win in Wayne-Westland
    "Three union-backed candidates won seats on the Wayne-Westland Board of Education Tuesday, following heavy campaigning on their behalf by the Michigan Education Association."
     
  1010. Parents wait for charter openings
    "More than 1,400 children are on waiting lists to attend charter public schools in Kent and Ottawa counties reflecting a steady increase in the schools’ popularity."
     
  1011. “Horrible” $304 Million Budget Cut is 1.05 Percent of State Revenue
     
  1012. School Districts Statewide Embrace Transparency; Roadblocks Remain in West Michigan
     
  1013. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST May 5, 2009
     
  1014. Six strategies key to school reform
    "The head of school turnaround efforts in Louisiana told state legislators Monday that six proven ways to improve failing schools are: early intervention, more time in school, alternative teacher certification, school choice, technology upgrades and data-based instructional management."
     
  1015. MICHIGAN CAPITOL CONFIDENTIAL
    A review and analysis of important state legislative policy issues that do not always receive attention from the general media. Michigan Capitol Confidential will make it easier to keep tabs on your elected representatives in Lansing.
     
  1016. Swine flu closes schools
    "All schools in Washtenaw County were invited to an emergency meeting today at the county health department regarding swine flu."
     
  1017. Governor Makes Right Call on Returning Wetland Permitting to Feds
     
  1018. Gov. Granholm Offers Seven Proposals That Refocus “Essential Purposes of Government”
     
  1019. Don’t “Fix” Budget With Graduated State Income Tax
     
  1020. Michigan Privatization Digest - May 4, 2009
     
  1021. DPS: Merit pay and strike talk
    "Merit pay likely will be a sticking point in teacher contract talks in Detroit in coming months."
     
  1022. Charter buys church property
    "Midwest Creative Investments has purchased a former Catholic church campus as a site to expand its charter school operation."
     
  1023. Schools shouldn’t use race, poverty as excuse
    "In a critical assessment of Michigan public education, the president of Education Trust said Tuesday that the state must stop blaming race and poverty for poor student achievement."
     
  1024. News Release: State Attorney General Agrees That Michigan Film Office Violated State Law by Failing to Disclose Required Film Spending Information
     
  1025. Mackinac Center Analysts to Testify at State Senate Hearing Today on Michigan Film Incentive
     
  1026. Special Effects: Flawed Report on Film Incentive Provides Distorted Lens (State Senate Testimony)
     
  1027. Mackinac Center Analysts Express Concern Over Announcement of Chrysler’s 'Surgical Bankruptcy'
     
  1028. DPS principals under review
    "Detroit Public Schools principals who have demonstrated success could be rewarded with multi-year contracts and more authority over the schools they lead."
     
  1029. There’s More to Michigan Than the Auto Industry
     
  1030. St. Clair RESA to open virtual high school
    "The St. Clair County Regional Educational Service Agency will charter an online school for dropouts this fall."
     
  1031. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST April 28, 2009
     
  1032. Teachers pay more to keep MESSA
    "Teachers in the Bridgman Public Schools district agreed to pay higher deductibles and a larger share of the premium in order to retain the Michigan Education Special Services Association as their insurance administrator."
     
  1033. Survey: Teacher satisfaction up
    "Teachers today say they are more satisfied in their careers, feel more respected and are better compensated than 25 years ago."
     
  1034. Districts (quietly) consider consolidation
    "The Deerfield school board wants to learn more about school consolidation and annexation and an attorney says they aren’t the only ones."
     
  1035. Those Who Cherish Liberty Must Fight the Government Bubble
     
  1036. Anonymous donor gives MSU $10 million
    "A $10 million gift arrived at Michigan State University recently in a FedEx envelope with little explanation and no one wishing to take credit."
     
  1037. Troy goes private, Rochester does not
    Rochester Community Schools will retain in-house custodial and transportation programs, while the Troy school district will hire an outside firm for busing.
     
  1038. Stephenson Schools Show Michigan the Money
     
  1039. GR: 'H' plan didn't turn around grades
    Only about 16 percent of the failing grades reported in five Grand Rapids high schools were converted to passing marks through the district’s “H” grading plan.
     
  1040. Merger talks end in Arenac County
    School consolidation talks have come to a halt in Arenac County, where Au Gres-Sims residents wanted to merge, but Arenac Eastern residents did not.
     
  1041. Harding and Braun on "Spotlight On The News"
     
  1042. Green Jobs: Field of Delusions
     
  1043. School Service Privatization: Survey 2008 Map
     
  1044. Few home-schoolers at MSU
    About 80 percent of home-school students who apply to Michigan State University are admitted, though only 35 percent of those admitted go on to actually enroll.
     
  1045. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST April 21, 2009
     
  1046. Tea Parties and Policy Revolutions
     
  1047. Michigan Unemployment Since the 2007 Tax Increase
     
  1048. Legislative Alert
     
  1049. Paynestaking Aim at the Political Class
     
  1050. Retirement fund losses will cost schools, but how much?
     
  1051. Capac talks continue
    "Contract negotiations continue in Capac Community Schools, though neither the district nor its teachers is saying much about their respective proposals."
     
  1052. High school has reopener clause
    "A Flint high school marked for closure next year could reopen in some format in five years, under a newly proposed long-range facilities plan."
     
  1053. Layoffs in Southfield
    "Anticipating a 350-student loss and consequential drop in state funding, Southfield Public Schools likely will lay off some 150 employees before the 2009-2010 school year."
     
  1054. Walk This Way
     
  1055. Groups disagree on charter performance
    "The state board of education approved a favorable charter school report Tuesday, but will respond next year to arguments that its method of comparing charter performance with traditional schools is misleading."
     
  1056. The Scene and the Unseen: Act IV
     
  1057. Clerical workers leave MEA
    "Clerical workers in the South Redford School District recently left the Michigan Education Association in favor of forming their own union."
     
  1058. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST April 14, 2009
     
  1059. IMPACT Spring 2009
     
  1060. The Government Bubble
     
  1061. School officials travel at taxpayer expense
    "Genesee County school officials have spent at least $365,000 in the past three years traveling to conferences in Orlando and San Diego as well as closer to home."
     
  1062. Watch Lawrence Reed Speech at CMU!
     
  1063. T.S. Eliot, Russell Kirk and the Moral Imagination
     
  1064. Layoffs, closings and philanthropy at DPS
    Six hundred teacher layoffs and 23 potential school closings have been announced in Detroit Public Schools, as emergency financial manager Robert Bobb addresses a $306 million deficit.
     
  1065. Troy considers private busing
    Support personnel are offering wage concessions in the Troy School District as officials there review bids on outsourcing janitorial, transportation, food and grounds maintenance services.
     
  1066. Campus “Business Ethics” and “Sustainability Scolds” Hide Real Agenda: Politics
     
  1067. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST April 7, 2009
     
  1068. School reform bills introduced
    "Legislation that would require “failing” schools to adopt a state-approved improvement strategy, including the option to become a charter school, has been introduced in the state Legislature."
     
  1069. Attempts at Government Efficiency Are Misguided
     
  1070. Mackinac Minutes: Spring 2009
    This video segment is the Spring 2009 edition of Mackinac Minutes.
     
  1071. March/April 2009 Michigan Capitol Confidential Articles
     
  1072. Schools claim robotics title
    "Students from Utica, Milford Huron Valley and Pontiac Northern high schools teamed up to win the state championship in the FIRST Robotics competition on Saturday."
     
  1073. State Parks Must Change or They Will Die
     
  1074. Tax Day Highlights Burden of State Government
     
  1075. GM Bankruptcy: End of the Road or New Super Highway?
     
  1076. Schools-of-choice racism alleged, denied
    "Accusations and denials of racism erupted at a Madison School District town hall meeting Wednesday, where the topic was whether to allow more schools-of-choice students to enroll."
     
  1077. Stimulus funding released
    "The first $44 billion in education stimulus money is en route to states, but Education Secretary Arne Duncan said strings will be attached to the next round of aid."
     
  1078. Breaking Bad Breaking the Bank
     
  1079. Math scores up, others show minor change
    "Math scores rose while language arts, science and social studies scores showed little change in statewide results from this year’s Michigan Educational Assessment Program tests."
     
  1080. Slight increase in tuition tax credit programs
    "Fourteen states offer a total of 24 programs that provide financial support for parents to enroll their K-12 children in private schools, typically through scholarship-like tuition assistance, tax credits or tax deduction programs."
     
  1081. Michigan Senate “Class Warfare” Exposes Ignorance of Small Business Realities
     
  1082. Mackinac Center President Emeritus Lawrence W. Reed Will Discuss “Lessons from the Great Depression” at CMU
     
  1083. Report: Removing bank subsidies would up Pell Grants
    "An additional 260,000 students, including about 9,000 in Michigan, could receive Pell Grants to help pay for college if  lender subsidies are cut."
     
  1084. Watch David Littmann's Speech at MSU!
     
  1085. MEAP writing test written off
    "Faced with declining scores on last fall's exam, state education officials have decided not to test most elementary students in writing on the next Michigan Educational Assessment Program test."
     
  1086. GM Bankruptcy: End of the Road or New Super Highway?
     
  1087. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST March 31, 2009
     
  1088. "Beyond the Bars": A Video Summary of a Mackinac Center Forum
     
  1089. Future teachers eye education reform
    "A University of Michigan student wants other aspiring teachers to join him in a club that would address their concerns with the teaching profession at large."
     
  1090. President’s Merit Pay Idea Merits Attention
     
  1091. MEA pension plan set aside
    "A plan to boost teacher pensions as a way to move near-retirees out of the system has been shelved in the state Senate."
     
  1092. DFT: Change attitude on charters?
    "Members of the Detroit Federation of Teachers will vote April 2 on whether to end their opposition to charter schools."
     
  1093. Ask the Economist: Resorts, Visas and Deadweight Loss
     
  1094. Judge agrees with Vestaburg on bond issue
    "Vestaburg Community Schools won a round in its battle to put a bond issue before the voters."
     
  1095. Keep Democracy, Prevent Fraud Through Worker Elections
     
  1096. House Effort to Reverse Coal Plant Moratorium Is Principled and Necessary for State’s Energy Demands, According to Mackinac Center Analyst
     
  1097. Privatization debate in Adrian
    "Employees and residents have spoken out against the possibility of hiring private firms to provide custodial and bus service in Adrian Public Schools, but an official in a nearby district reported good results from private busing."
     
  1098. Issues and Ideas Forum, March 25, 2009
     
  1099. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST March 24, 2009
     
  1100. School pension invested in AIG
    "The State of Michigan Retirement Systems lost money by investing in American International Group Inc."
     
  1101. Michigan’s Many Tax Ranks
     
  1102. Grand Blanc reopens contract
    "Teachers in the Grand Blanc School District would pay more for prescription medication while the district would offer an early retirement incentive under proposed contract amendments."
     
  1103. Board weighs retirement plan
    "School board members in Central Montcalm Public Schools want to know how much a retirement incentive plan would cost the district before giving final approval."
     
  1104. Muskegon to give away buildings
    "Four nonprofit groups are still in the running to receive a free building from the Muskegon school district."
     
  1105. Charter report: Grad rates up, tests neutral
    "Charter public school students may be more likely to graduate and attend college than students in conventional public schools, though their overall academic performance is not necessarily better."
     
  1106. The Scene and the Unseen: Act III
    The Michigan Film Office's much-anticipated annual report about the Michigan Film Incentive program appears to significantly misrepresent a key figure, omits important information on Michigan job numbers, and fails to provide much of the detail the law requires, raising questions about the Film Office’s compliance with the law and its administration of the incentive program.
     
  1107. Private tuition grant needed, backers say
    "Students who rely on a state tuition grant to help them attend private Michigan colleges have asked lawmakers to keep the program intact."
     
  1108. News Release: Film Office Report Violates Michigan Law and the Spirit of Sunshine Week
     
  1109. News Release: David Littmann to Speak About State and National Economies at MSU
     
  1110. Cheap Housing Could Be Michigan Art’s Best Friend
     
  1111. The shell game of ‘making AYP’
     
  1112. No contract yet in Grand Rapids
    "Grand Rapids school leaders turned down the latest contract proposal from the district's teachers union, but the sides are expected to return to the bargaining table soon."
     
  1113. News Release: House Minority Leader Sets the Transparency Standard
     
  1114. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST March 17, 2009
     
  1115. Legislative Alert
     
  1116. School Pension Boost Proposal Exposes Political System’s Dysfunctions
     
  1117. All-day kindergarten in Battle Creek Lakeview
    "Lakeview School District may expand its pilot full-day kindergarten to the entire district this fall."
     
  1118. Happy St. Patrick's Day!
     
  1119. School Pension Boost Proposal Exposes Political System’s Dysfunctions
     
  1120. Gladstone recall halted
    "A recall drive of three Gladstone school board members has ended as part of a new, mediated effort between the school district and its teachers union to solve their differences."
     
  1121. MEA not ‘universally’ opposed to merit pay
    "The Michigan Education Association is not "universally" opposed to merit pay for teachers."
     
  1122. Students expelled in teacher/drug case
    "The Harrison school board has permanently expelled a student allegedly involved in a case of putting a prescription drug into a teacher's beverage."
     
  1123. MichiganScience No. 9
    MichiganScience is a Mackinac Center quarterly magazine that helps meet the need for accurate and accessible information about the increasingly complex scientific issues confronting voters and lawmakers. The magazine reflects the idea that even the most technical scientific policy issues can be discussed with lively prose and compelling visuals.
     
  1124. Must schools use money to keep teachers?
    "School officials are trying to figure out whether federal stimulus money must, can or should be used to avoid teacher layoffs."
     
  1125. Five Principles That Are Violated by the Bailouts
     
  1126. News Release: Sunshine Week an Ideal Time to Make Public Payrolls Public
     
  1127. MEGA Competition: Brewer’s Tax Credit Distorts Competition
     
  1128. Pontiac to lay off 700-plus
    "The Pontiac School District will lay off more than 700 teachers, support staff and administrators in view of projected overspending of $11.6 million in next year's budget."
     
  1129. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST March 10, 2009
     
  1130. More med schools, no more doctors
    "More medical schools may not solve a projected doctor deficit in Michigan."
     
  1131. Protecting Employees and Taxpayers From Unions
     
  1132. They Won’t Tell You Who is Getting YOUR Money
     
  1133. The State of the State You Should Have Heard
     
  1134. Dragging ‘Em Down to Our Level
     
  1135. Retirement costs headed up
    "Superintendents in Lenawee County are worried about the increasing cost of the state retirement system for school employees."
     
  1136. News Release: Romeo Community Schools and Chippewa Valley School District Post Check Registers Online
     
  1137. Digging Ourselves a Deeper Hole
     
  1138. Home-schoolers adjust to recession
    "Home-school families are taking on night jobs, adjusting schedules and cutting back on expenses in tough economic times, but they are not giving up on home schooling."
     
  1139. Charter school needs more room
    "New Branches Public School Academy has outgrown its current location and may buy the Millbrook Christian School facility when that school relocates in 2010."
     
  1140. Rolling the Dice: How Workers Can Arrange a Secret-Ballot Vote Under EFCA
     
  1141. East Lansing Business Owner Speaks Out Against Property Rights Abuse
     
  1142. The Mackinac Center's 20th Anniversary Gala
     
  1143. Superintendent: Deficit spending must stop
    "Cheboygan Area Schools will go bankrupt if it continues to spend more than it takes in."
     
  1144. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST March 3, 2009
     
  1145. Michigan Privatization Digest - March 3, 2009
     
  1146. Jail-based academy offers GED
    "About 270 inmates in the St. Clair County jail have earned General Education Diplomas through Intervention Academy, a charter public school that operates within the facility."
     
  1147. Stories My Legislator Told Me
     
  1148. News Release: State Government Paid $17.6 Million to Unions in 2008, According to Documents Secured by FOIA Request
     
  1149. Assessment plan gets mixed reviews
    "Opinion is mixed on proposed changes in the way Michigan evaluates its public schools."
     
  1150. Teachers get raise, pay more for insurance
    "Three Rivers teachers will pay more out of pocket for health insurance under the terms of a new contract that the superintendent said will minimize impact on the classroom."
     
  1151. A Trillion Wrongs Don’t Make a Right
     
  1152. Farmers want school customers
    "Farmers in southeast Michigan are looking for ways to sell their food to local schools, prisons and hospitals."
     
  1153. MICHIGAN CAPITOL CONFIDENTIAL
    A review and analysis of important state legislative policy issues that do not always receive attention from the general media. Michigan Capitol Confidential will make it easier to keep tabs on your elected representatives in Lansing.
     
  1154. KCC calls meeting on charter
    "Kellogg Community College will invite area school districts to a March meeting to discuss a proposed charter public school that would offer technical training to high school students."
     
  1155. Bond-for-sinking fund swap proposed
    "Mackinaw City Schools would temporarily suspend a sinking fund tax levy if voters pass a three-year-bond proposal this spring."
     
  1156. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST February 24, 2009
     
  1157. GR union slams school board on audiotape
    "The Grand Rapids school board says that comments made by union leaders during a Michigan Education Association conference show a lack of civility and may constitute bargaining in bad faith on the part of the Grand Rapids Education Association."
     
  1158. Charter report favorable, state board wants more
     
  1159. January/February 2009 Michigan Capitol Confidential articles
     
  1160. District weighs alternatives to alternative ed
    "Mount Pleasant Public Schools is weighing the idea of moving its alternative high school students to its traditional high school in a "school-within-a-school" scenario."
     
  1161. Bill would open state health plan to schools
    "Schools and local government units would be allowed to enroll their employees in the state government health insurance program under legislation proposed by state Rep. Cindy Denby, R-Handy Township."
     
  1162. The Refuge: Spring 2009
    "A man's house is his castle — et domus sua cuique est tutissimum refugium."
    — Sir Edward Coke

     
  1163. Coal Plant Moratorium Another Economic Blow
     
  1164. More school choice in Utica
    "Expanding its school-of-choice program, Utica Community Schools will open all of its 40 buildings to students from nearby districts this fall."
     
  1165. Senate Bills Would Bring More Transparency to MEDC
     
  1166. Lansing sees promise in Promise
    "The Lansing School District will apply for Promise Zone certification under a new state law allowing local authorities to capture some property tax revenue for college scholarships."
     
  1167. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST February 17, 2009
     
  1168. Merit pay takes center stage
    "Merit pay is likely to come under more consideration in Michigan schools in the coming year due to public support from President Barack Obama and U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan."
     
  1169. Huron Valley taking bids

    "Saying it can no longer afford the benefit package offered to some support employees, Huron Valley Schools is exploring outsourcing its transportation and food service operations."


     
  1170. Catholic school will market itself
    "Officials at St. Basil Catholic School plan an aggressive marketing and fundraising campaign to boost enrollment and improve revenue at the school."
     
  1171. Property Takings: Susette Kelo and Beyond
    A video summary of Susette Kelo's appearance at a Mackinac Center Issues and Ideas Forum in East Lansing on Feb. 10, 2009.
     
  1172. Muskegon debates athlete GPA
    "It would cost an additional $50,000 in tutoring to keep all Muskegon High School athletes eligible to play if the district required them to carry a 2.0 grade point average."
     
  1173. Grapes of Wrath (Short Version)
     
  1174. MichiganScience No. 8
    MichiganScience is a Mackinac Center quarterly magazine that helps meet the need for accurate and accessible information about the increasingly complex scientific issues confronting voters and lawmakers. The magazine reflects the idea that even the most technical scientific policy issues can be discussed with lively prose and compelling visuals.
     
  1175. DPS predicts payroll shortage
    "Detroit Public Schools won't be able to make payroll as of March 17 unless it arranges a loan or works out a new payment plan with employees."
     
  1176. News Release: New Legislators Show Up Veterans by Providing Office Spending Transparency
     
  1177. New Legislators Embarrass the Veterans
     
  1178. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST February 10, 2009
     
  1179. ISDs plan cuts, share superintendent
    "The need to rein in costs might lead the Ingham Intermediate School District to stop providing staff for the local Special Olympics program."
     
  1180. An economic stimulus for the mind
     
  1181. The importance of a sound economic education
     
  1182. New Che Guevara Biography Is Short on Fact, Long on Fiction
     
  1183. Where Is the Brownfield? (Viewpoint on Public Issues)
     
  1184. Good News About the Bad Economy
     
  1185. MichiGONE: New Migration Data Dark and Portentous
     
  1186. Where’s the Brownfield? (General Article)
     
  1187. New Jackson charter proposed
    "A former Jackson Public Schools administrator is proposing a new charter public school in Jackson in which students would receive credit when they show proficiency, whether that's earlier or later than in a typical school."
     
  1188. Saginaw fund balance disappears
    "Rather than the $6 million fund balance it thought it had, the Saginaw City School District now faces a budget that outspends revenue by $2.4 million."
     
  1189. The UAW Can Help the Detroit Three Save Money and Face
     
  1190. Detroit charter ‘adopts’ KU
    "A Detroit charter school classroom has "adopted" the University of Kansas in a program designed to benefit each institution."
     
  1191. Vouchers proposed in Georgia
    "A Georgia senator has introduced voucher legislation that would allow any parent to use approximately $5,000 in state funding to send a child to the public or private school of their choice."
     
  1192. News Release: Gov. Granholm Proposes Nine Expansions and Six Limitations of Government in 2009 Delivered State of the State Address, According to Center Analyst
     
  1193. Wayne-Westland settles on raises, health concessions
    "Teachers agreed to health care concessions while the school district agreed to raises and smaller class sizes in a newly ratified contact in Wayne-Westland Community Schools."
     
  1194. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST February 3, 2009
     
  1195. Pension plan too costly, administrators say
    "Padding teacher pensions as a way to entice them to retire might save money in the short run, but not over the long haul."
     
  1196. Mackinac Center Tally of Proposed Government Expansions and Limitations in State of the State Address Available Tuesday Night
     
  1197. Schools line up for ‘small high school’ funding
     
  1198. State of Crisis
     
  1199. The Scene and the Unseen: Act II
     
  1200. Mom pledges $500,000 to private school
    "The mother of a student at a private Kalamazoo school has pledged $500,000 over three years to the school, the largest single cash donation in Kazoo School history."
     
  1201. Michael D. LaFaive's "2009 State of the State Address": A Video Summary
     
  1202. Academy closes, students moved to night school
    "More questions than answers remain regarding the abrupt closing of the Highland Park Career Academy to all but seniors, according to media reports. Highland Park Schools told younger students last week that they should report to night classes at Highland Park High School instead."
     
  1203. The Terminator Aims to Destroy Detroit Autos
     
  1204. Au Gres, Arenac consider consolidation
    "About 200 people attended a community meeting to discuss combining the Arenac Eastern and Au Gres-Sims school districts into one operation."
     
  1205. Michigan’s Economic Dreams Subsi-Dying on the Vine
     
  1206. Health plan savings at $550,000
    "Waterford School District saved $550,000 in two months through a new health care plan for teachers, but the plan remains a sticking point in union negotiations."
     
  1207. Retire now for better pension?
    "Older Michigan teachers would receive padded pensions in exchange for leaving the workforce soon under a plan in the works by the Michigan Education Association and a bipartisan group of lawmakers."
     
  1208. Legislative Alert
     
  1209. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST January 27, 2009
     
  1210. News Release: Unemployment Rates Lower in Right-to-Work State
     
  1211. Bobb named DPS money manager
    "Robert C. Bobb, the new emergency financial manager for Detroit Public Schools, said he will begin his work by examining the system's structure and contracts, and finish with systems in place to correct the district's fiscal woes."
     
  1212. Schools Should Stick to Basics and Resist Green Fad
     
  1213. Mackinac Center’s Solution to Poverty: Prosperity
     
  1214. Ingham ISD proposes cuts
    "Anticipated declines in property tax revenue, coupled with rising costs, could lead to cutbacks in staffing and programs offered by the Ingham Intermediate School District."
     
  1215. What Michigan Needs
     
  1216. English as a second language
    "Immersed in the French language as a Dartmouth College student, teacher Kevin Smith now uses the immersion strategy with middle school students in Monroe."
     
  1217. Teacher resigns in Facebook flap
    "A first-year band instructor has resigned her teaching position after posting a Facebook comment alleging that a student had stolen an instrument."
     
  1218. Jackson opens online courses to home-schoolers
    "Jackson Public Schools has recruited about 10 home-schoolers to take online elective courses as a way to serve that population, while also reaping increased state funding due to the higher student headcount."
     
  1219. Health insurance divides Caseville
    "Health insurance costs continue to divide the Caseville Board of Education and Caseville Education Association."
     
  1220. News Release: Property Rights Champion Susette Kelo and Author Jeff Benedict to Discuss New Book at Issues & Ideas Forum
     
  1221. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST January 20, 2009
     
  1222. The "Beyond the Bailout" Auto Forum: A Video Summary
     
  1223. Customers ask for details on potential Blue Cross hike
     
  1224. Board implements health plan; union may sue
    "Three Rivers school board members have voted to switch teachers to a different health insurance plan as a way to save money, but the teachers union may go to court to block the move."
     
  1225. "Comcast Newsmakers" Interview With Jack McHugh
     
  1226. Goofing Off at Ford — A National Emergency?
     
  1227. Detroit Private Initiative
     
  1228. Promise Zone bills signed
    "Up to 10 "Promise Zone" authorities, designed to pay for college for students in high-poverty locales, could be created under legislation newly signed by Gov. Jennifer Granholm."
     
  1229. Michigan School Privatization Survey 2008
    Privatization of school support services is a time-tested means for lowering educational costs. The three major services that school districts in Michigan contract out for are food, custodial and transportation. The Mackinac Center for Public Policy's survey of privatization is the longest running and most comprehensive source of school support service data in the nation.
     
  1230. Mackinac Center Scholars Provide Policymakers and Voters With 101 Recommendations to Revitalize Michigan
     
  1231. Superintendent gets $100,000-plus separation deal
    "Under the terms of a separation agreement, Godwin Heights Superintendent Valdis Gailitis will receive $118,442 in salary in 2009 before his resignation takes effect Aug. 2."
     
  1232. Board votes for higher-priced union labor
    "Against the recommendations of its consultant, the Ypsilanti Public Schools Board of Education agreed to use union contractors for renovations at three elementary schools, increasing the cost by 5 percent."
     
  1233. The Mackinac Center's “Beyond the Bailout” Auto Forum
     
  1234. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST January 13, 2009
     
  1235. Parents question Chippewa Valley spending
    "Unhappy with spending on such things as catered meals and fruit baskets, as well as the use of bond money to purchase land, two parents have asked state officials to look into Chippewa Valley Schools' finances."
     
  1236. Government Stimulus Packages Harmful in the Long Run
     
  1237. News Release: “Beyond the Bailout”
     
  1238. Live Simulcast of "Beyond the Bailout" Forum
     
  1239. MICHIGAN CAPITOL CONFIDENTIAL
    A review and analysis of important state legislative policy issues that do not always receive attention from the general media. Michigan Capitol Confidential will make it easier to keep tabs on your elected representatives in Lansing.
     
  1240. Court backs union, privatization ‘chill’ debated
    "Opinions vary on whether a court ruling allowing Grand Rapids school bus drivers to continue to be represented by their public sector union — even after their jobs were outsourced — will "chill" a statewide trend toward privatization."
     
  1241. Teacher/coach jailed on sex charge
    "A Whitehall High School teacher and basketball coach has been charged with criminal sexual conduct involving a 15-year-old girl, and an investigation continues into possible other charges."
     
  1242. News Release: School Privatization Should not be Hampered by Today’s Federal Court Ruling on Grand Rapids Case
     
  1243. News Release: State Government Equivocates on Cost of Michigan Film Incentive Program to State Taxpayers
     
  1244. Private school to focus on teen dropouts
    "The Urban League of Battle Creek is opening a small, private school this month to serve teens who have dropped out of, or been expelled from, traditional and alternative schools."
     
  1245. The Scene and the Unseen: Act I
     
  1246. Waiting to Exhale: Regulating CO2 a Good Way to Move Economy into Depression
     
  1247. Michigan gets C+ in national report
    "Michigan earned a C+ for K-12 education in a national report released this week."
     
  1248. Where There’s Smoke, There’s Smuggling
     
  1249. Survey: Do voters want a new high school?
    "In an effort to gauge community support for construction of a new high school, Blissfield Community Schools is conducting both a random telephone poll and inviting voters to take an online survey."
     
  1250. Michigan Privatization Digest - January 6, 2009
     
  1251. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST January 6, 2009
     
  1252. Budget crunch hits metro schools
    "Increased energy, health care and retirement costs, coupled with declining enrollment and uncertain state funding, have pushed a number of public school districts into the red."
     
  1253. News Release: Transparency Project Director Asks Macomb County School Districts to Publish their Checkbook Registers
     
  1254. What Is a Free Economy?
     
  1255. Student Uprising
     
  1256. Cigarette Smuggling Rampant in Michigan
     
  1257. Collecting the Rent
     
  1258. Tough Choices Ahead for Workers
     
  1259. Online classes get a boost in some districts
    "More students will earn high school credit online and off campus in Michigan in 2009 due to a pilot program allowing some school districts to bypass "seat time" requirements."
     
  1260. Eimi Mine
     
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