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101 Recommendations

Top 10 Budget Recommendations

Michigan is blessed with a wealth of the human and natural resources integral to building vibrant commerce and vigorous communities in the 21st century. At the moment, however, counter-productive public policies have made it harder for our industries to compete nationally and internationally and have reduced our state's attractiveness to investors and entrepreneurs.

In addition, Michigan is not immune to the gradual erosion of equity and basic human freedom that accompanies a steady growth in the power and scope of government.

Related to this, our government's ability to properly perform many critical functions, including education, has been jeopardized by policymakers' attempts to do too many things. This lack of focus has even led to confusion among policymakers over whether government exists to serve the people or vice versa.

There's a lot of work to do to reverse this, but there's good news. Once growth- and freedom-friendly policies are in place, recovery is likely to occur much more quickly than most people imagine.

For policymakers and voters serious about restoring freedom and economic vitality in the Great Lakes State, the Mackinac Center presents the following 101 recommendations.

This report is a compendium of work authored by Mackinac Center policy analysts and compiled by Senior Legislative Analyst Jack McHugh.

"101 Recommendations" Facebook Group

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MIworkerfreedom.org

Making Michigan Home Again

Vice President for Advancement

Michigan School Databases

Union contracts for all local school districts in Michigan, as well as district-by-district information on revenue and expenditures, are available online at the Michigan School Databases.

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Michigan Education Report

Press Room

Schools of Innovation

Mackinac Center for Public Policy's Schools of Innovation

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Emergency Managers

A Collection of the Mackinac Center's Resources on Emergency Managers and Public Act 4

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S2012-01

Five Options for Addressing ‘Transition Costs’ When Closing the MPSERS Pension Plan

Michigan Public School Employee Retirement Plans
in Need of Reform

This study considers the supposed ‘transition costs’ that would be effected by a state switch from a defined-benefit to defined-contribution retirement system. In it, the “transition costs” are found to be nonbinding and discretionary. In addition, the study offers the state a series of reforms that would diffuse such costs, as well as consideration for the long-term fiscal improvements that would arise from payment of the pension’s unfunded liabilities. more

Alcohol Control in Michigan

A Collection of the Mackinac Center's Resources on Liquor, Beer and Wine Regulations in Michigan

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Loar v. Michigan Department of Human Services Brief

This booklet contains the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation’s final legal filing in a nationally known case involving the illegal unionization of Michigan’s home-based day care business owners and providers as government employees. Wright argued the case in the Michigan courts on behalf of Sherry Loar, Michelle Berry and Paulette Silverson, who each own home-based day care businesses.

The Mackinac Center Legal Foundation sued to end the DHS' illegal diversion of so-called "union dues" from state subsidy checks received by home-based day care providers who watch children from low-income families. The "dues" were funneled to a government-employee union that purports to represent more than 40,000 of Michigan's home-based day care providers, who are actually private business owners and independent contractors.

The case was ruled moot by the Michigan Supreme Court after the DHS ceased to collect the dues and the DHS director stated that these home-based day care providers are not public employees.

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Digital Learning

A Collection of the Mackinac Center's Resources on Digital Learning

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Right-to-Work Library

Frequently Asked Questions About Right-to-Work

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Michigan Local Government Databases

Union contracts for all local school districts in Michigan, as well as district-by-district information on revenue and expenditures, are available online at the Michigan School Databases.

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Education Policy Initiative

Educational opportunity for all Michigan children

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101 Recommendations

101 Recommendations to Revitalize Michigan

(Editor's note: These recommendations were originally posted in January 2009. They were updated in January 2011, and a Top 10 list was added. You may view PDFs of the previous versions: the Second Edition, with an introduction by Mackinac Center President Joseph G. Lehman, and the First Edition.)

Michigan is blessed with a wealth of the human and natural resources integral to building vibrant commerce and vigorous communities in the 21st century. At the moment, however, counterproductive public policies have made it harder for our industries to compete nationally and internationally and have reduced our state’s attractiveness to investors and entrepreneurs.

In addition, Michigan is not immune to the gradual erosion of equity and basic human freedom that accompanies a steady growth in the power and scope of government. Related to this, our government’s ability to properly perform many critical functions, including education, has been jeopardized by policymakers’ attempts to do too many things. This lack of focus has even led to confusion among policymakers over whether government exists to serve the people or vice versa.

There’s a lot of work to do to reverse this, but there’s good news. Once growth- and freedom-friendly policies are in place, recovery is likely to occur much more quickly than most people imagine.

For policymakers and voters serious about restoring freedom and economic vitality in the Great Lakes State, the Mackinac Center presents the following 101 recommendations.

This report is a compendium of work authored by Mackinac Center policy analysts and compiled by Senior Legislative Analyst Jack McHugh. The brief recommendations inevitably omit some nuance and detail. These are provided more fully in the online articles cited with each recommendation.

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The Overton Window

Detailed Analysis of Utica's Teacher Contract

Nearly every aspect of a teacher's job falls under the rules of a union contract. The following are analyses of the current collective bargaining agreements for teachers and a few other employee groups in select Michigan school districts.

The summaries highlight and explain particular noteworthy items from each contract, and the detailed analyses break down each element of the districts' agreements.

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101 Recommendations

An Introduction to the Overton Window of Political Possibility

Michigan is blessed with a wealth of the human and natural resources integral to building vibrant commerce and vigorous communities in the 21st century. At the moment, however, counter-productive public policies have made it harder for our industries to compete nationally and internationally and have reduced our state's attractiveness to investors and entrepreneurs.

In addition, Michigan is not immune to the gradual erosion of equity and basic human freedom that accompanies a steady growth in the power and scope of government.

Related to this, our government's ability to properly perform many critical functions, including education, has been jeopardized by policymakers' attempts to do too many things. This lack of focus has even led to confusion among policymakers over whether government exists to serve the people or vice versa.

There's a lot of work to do to reverse this, but there's good news. Once growth- and freedom-friendly policies are in place, recovery is likely to occur much more quickly than most people imagine.

For policymakers and voters serious about restoring freedom and economic vitality in the Great Lakes State, the Mackinac Center presents the following 101 recommendations.

This report is a compendium of work authored by Mackinac Center policy analysts and compiled by Senior Legislative Analyst Jack McHugh.

"101 Recommendations" Facebook Group

 more

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. more

MichiganScience

MichiganScience helps meet the need for accurate and accessible information about the increasingly complex scientific issues confronting voters and lawmakers. more

Bailout Resources

Right-to-Work FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions About Right-to-Work more

MichiganVotes Website

Knowing your state legislator's entire voting record has never been this easy.

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Statesmanship Initiative

Knowing your state legislator's entire voting record has never been this easy.

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Labor Policy Initiative

Free Market Moments

Audio Archives more

MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST OVERVIEW

Michigan Education Digest is a weekly education news update offered as a service of Michigan Education Report. It is released via email. Subscriptions are free. more

Open Government Initiative

Encouraging good government by informing citizens. more

Mackinac Center Legal Foundation

Legal Work

Legal Studies and Amicus Briefs

Teacher Quality

MichiganTransparency.org

Encouraging good government by informing citizens. more

Michigan Capitol Confidential

Michigan Capitol Confidential spotlights the votes and proposals of the Michigan Legislature. more

Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative

Encouraging sound tax, spending and economic development policy.

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Mackinac Center Policy Areas

Michigan Education Report (MER): www.educationreport.org

View the Michigan Education Report (MER) at www.educationreport.org and/or subscribe for a paper copy. more

Roscommon teachers leave Michigan Education Association

"Teachers at Roscommon Area Public Schools voted by a nearly 2-to-1 margin to leave the Michigan Education Association ..." more

DPS teachers awarded bonuses

"Detroit Public Schools teachers will receive a bonus as part of a court settlement with Emergency Manager Roy Roberts ..." more

Detroit high school students to try virtual learning

"Detroit-area students at high schools run by the Education Achievement Authority of Michigan will have the opportunity to take virtual courses ..." more

Chicago strike sparks discussion about teacher evaluations

"The ongoing Chicago Teachers Union strike, in part due to controversy about how teachers are evaluated ..." more

College stats in for Kalamazoo Promise s first class

"Kalamazoo Promise officials have released the latest data showing how the Kalamazoo Public Schools’ class of 2006 is doing ..." more

Sweeping collective bargaining proposal on November ballot

"The state Supreme Court has ruled that a sweeping ballot proposal to expand public employee bargaining power will be on the November ballot ..." more

Teacher pension reform law signed

"Gov. Rick Snyder has signed a law reforming school employee pension costs ..." more

Teacher pension reform law signed

"Gov. Rick Snyder has signed a law reforming school employee pension costs ..." more

Highland Park student plaintiffs return to school

"Eight students who are suing the Highland Park School District for failing to teach them to read at an appropriate level are returning to school ..." more

Number of Michigan charter public schools continues to grow

"This school year, 31 new public charter schools have opened in Michigan ..." more

Some Flint students begin year without class assignments

"In the wake of merging middle and high schools, some Flint School District students were not provided class assignments ..." more

School tax rates in Kalamazoo County go up without a vote

"School taxes are set to increase in Kalamazoo County, even though residents did not vote on the matter ..." more

Oxford district s AstroTurf could cost some their homes

"Oxford Public Schools has until Sept. 1 to come up with $300,000 to pay for its new football field turf ..." more

Whitehall saves by switching to high-deductible health plan

"The Whitehall teachers union and the Whitehall school board have agreed upon a new contract ..." more

Michigan districts start testing teacher evaluation methods

"Fourteen school districts are testing different teacher evaluation models for statewide consideration ..." more

Audit alleges Genesee district administrator misspent funds

"The Genesee Intermediate School District has fired a top-level administrator, and a state education department employee has been placed on leave ..." more

Most tax increases pass, increases for schools least popular

"About 90 percent of millages proposed statewide this summer passed ..." more

Appeals court rules against deduction for teacher health costs

"A Michigan appeals court has ruled that a 3 percent deduction from school employees put in place to help pay for health care costs is illegal ..." more

Blended learning school to open in Detroit this fall

"Cornerstone Charter Schools will open a new blended learning high school in Detroit this fall ..." more

DPS shakeups continue, split power between board and manager

"Power struggles in Detroit Public Schools continue after a judge ruled that the DPS board has power over academic issues, while the state-appointed emergency financial manager has power over the budget ..." more

Madison Heights district settles with teachers union

"... the Madison Heights Education Association and school district have reached a contract settlement that will result in more money for teachers." more

Legislature passes school pension reform

"Michigan legislators have passed school pension reform that is estimated to save taxpayers about $970 million during the next two years ..." more

Attorney General: Protect Our Jobs should be kept off ballot

"Attorney General Bill Schuette has serious concerns about a proposed amendment that would prevent state and local government, including public schools, from passing almost any law to limit public sector union collective bargaining ..." more

Michigan Department of Education releases school grades

"The Michigan Department of Education released its revised grades of Michigan school districts ..." more

New charter public school focused on entrepreneurial education

"A new charter public school opening this fall will focus on entrepreneurship and mathematics ..." more

Is the National Education Association facing a pension crisis?

"... the National Education Association may be facing pension payout obligations of nearly $700 million." more

Dearborn district must provide transportation to better schools

"Schools with large achievement gaps are now required to set aside transportation funding to send students to schools with smaller gaps ..." more

AFT wants to end to high-stakes testing, increase taxes

"At its annual meeting in Detroit, the American Federation of Teachers called for an end to what it calls “high-stakes testing" ..." more

Teachers unions give $1 million to 'Protect Our Jobs' initiative

"The effort to limit legislative oversight of public-sector bargaining has received large financial support from labor and teacher unions ..." more

Should U.S. math curriculum and standards be revised?

"Commentary published in The New York Times proposes taking a closer look at how math is taught in U.S. schools." more

Michigan s teaching population aging

"Michigan teachers are staying in their jobs longer, leaving fewer jobs for new teachers ..." more

Ann Arbor district balks at written superintendent evaluation

"Though Michigan law requires school districts to conduct written evaluations of employees ..." more

Legislature fails to pass school pension reform

"The Michigan Legislature has failed to pass pension reform for the state’s public school teachers ..." more

Michigan granted NCLB waiver

"The U.S. Department of Education has granted Michigan a waiver from some requirements of the No Child Left Behind act ..." more

Detroit targets vacant buildings near schools for demolition

"State money from a mortgage settlement fund could be used to demolish abandoned buildings near public schools ..." more

MSU study: Americans support local control of school districts

"An analysis of 40 years of public surveys found that Americans support local school board control ..." more

Work group begins updating education finance laws

"A working group charged with updating the Michigan School Finance Act met last week ..." more

Charterized school system contract details posted

"The management agreement between the Muskegon Heights School Board and a charter public school operator has been made available ..." more

Muskegon ISD school board supports emergency manager s reforms

"The Muskegon Area Intermediate School District is ready to implement the emergency manager’s reforms in Muskegon Heights, even if the state’s emergency manager law is struck down ..." more

Canada offers international school choice to Michigan students

"Canada is offering Michigan high school students the opportunity to attend five of its best schools in Windsor ..." more

DPS union president says union won t honor new contract

"Detroit Public Schools has published its new teachers union contract ..." more

Achievement gap grows for Michigan high school students

"An analysis of statewide Michigan Merit Exam scores found that the achievement gap between black and white students has grown during the past five years in all subjects except social studies ..." more

National Education Association director criticizes Gov. Snyder

"At the National Education Association’s annual meeting, the NEA executive director criticized the governors of Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin for failing to embrace organized labor ..." more

DPS chief implements new contract

"The emergency manager for Detroit Public Schools implemented a new contract for teachers Sunday ..." more

Manchester looking for alternatives to MESSA

"Manchester Community Schools recently approved a new agreement with its teachers union to limit health insurance costs and will seek a new provider ..." more

Battle Creek could privatize busing

"Battle Creek Public Schools is seeking bids from private competitors for its transportation needs ..." more

Michigan denied NCLB waiver

"Five states were granted waivers last week from the federal No Child Left Behind act, but Michigan was not one of them ..." more

State sets new list of best practices

"Michigan public schools must compete seven of eight new “best practices” to receive an additional $52 per student ..." more

llegal teacher strike possible in Detroit

"Detroit Public Schools and the Detroit Federation of Teachers are just beginning to negotiate a new contract for the one that expires June 30 ..." more

Hudson cuts teacher pay 6 percent

"The Hudson school board has implemented a 6 percent pay reduction for teachers as contract negotiations there continue ..." more

Galesburg-August considers privatization to save money

"Galesburg-Augusta schools could move forward with a plan to privatize custodial and janitorial services unless the unions representing those employees can come up with $180,000 in concessions by the end of June ..." more

Highland Park could charterize district

"The emergency manager appointed to Highland Park schools wants to turn operation of the district over to a charter management company to keep it open ..." more

Mount Pleasant alternative school could go online

"Mount Pleasant Public Schools could convert its alternative high school into an online-only program in order to balance its 2013 budget ..." more

Black charter school students top host district counterparts

"Black students in charter public schools outperformed their counterparts in conventional school districts and statewide on the 2011 MEAP test ..." more

DPS to lose $4 million due to low attendance

"Detroit Public Schools will have to repay the state $4.2 million after attendance fell below 75 percent on several target dates during the 2010-2011 school year ..." more

DeWitt to sell timber to help solve overspending crisis

"DeWitt Public Schools plans to make about $43,000 by selling timber located on school property, including some trees that could be 200 years old ..." more

Lear gives $1.5 million to Detroit tutoring program

"Juniors and seniors at the East English Village Preparatory Academy will be paid to help tutor middle schools students as part of a $1.5 million grant Lear Corp. is giving Detroit Public Schools ..." more

Senate opts not to vote on school pension reform bill

"The Michigan Legislature recessed for a month without passing a controversial school employee pension reform bill ..." more

Governor backs $4 million teacher evaluation pilot program

"Gov. Rick Snyder said he supports a year-long pilot program to study teacher evaluation processes in 12 school districts statewide, but wants to cap the cost at $4 million ..." more