Jeffrey R. Williams, a Michigan native, is a writer, researcher, and adjunct scholar with the Mackinac Center for Public Policy and lives in Oberlin, Ohio. As a policy analyst for the Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions in Dayton, Ohio, he completed studies in 1998 on the costs of K-12 education and the progress of the Cleveland school choice program.

By Jeffrey R. Williams

Choice and Privatization Reform for Basic Welfare Services

The Impact of School Choice on School Employee Labor Unions

  As school choice heads for the 2000 ballot in Michigan, it is important for citizens to understand how proposals including K-12 vouchers and tuition tax credits will affect the school employee unions that exert such a powerful influence on the state’s public school system.
  This study examines union membership rates among Michigan’s public, charter, and private school teachers and found that while teachers in every public school district are represented by-and pay dues to-a union, only 5 out of 139 charter and 2 out of over one thousand private schools employ unionized workforces.
  The study concludes that school employee unions-including the Michigan Education Association and the Michigan Federation of Teachers-have powerful political and financial incentives to spend millions of dollars to prevent more parents from being able to choose non-unionized charter or private schools for their children. … more

Kids Hope Is Changing Young Lives

Kids Hope USA links church volunteers with at-risk public school students. The program is a proven alternative to government programs which offer a distant and artificial substitute for real compassion. … more

An Oasis of Good in a Desert of Despair

Burdensome rules on government grants to a Detroit church divert resources from helping people to satisfying bureaucrats. Government should encourage more private giving, not try to replace it. … more

The Salvation Army's War on Poverty

The Salvation Army has been waging war on poverty since long before the government declared its own war on poverty thirty years ago. A new city of Detroit ordinance makes it more difficult for the Salvation Army to help hungry and homeless people at its twenty Detroit shelters. … more

A Visit to the Capuchin Soup Kitchen

If welfare as a government entitlement ends, private institutions will play a larger role in helping needy people. Detroit's Capuchin Soup Kitchen is an excellent example of meeting needs through private, voluntary cooperation. … more