The current school funding crisis has a lot of people talking about raising taxes, creating new taxes or closing so-called tax loopholes, to provide more revenue for Michigan’s K-12 school districts.
We at Education Action Group Foundation don’t pretend to be experts on school funding, particularly on a statewide level. But we do know that local school districts are forced to spend a great deal of money on unnecessary labor costs, at a time when they can least afford it.
We don’t believe the state has the moral right to ask taxpayers for another dime for education until it helps local school districts free themselves from crippling labor expenses.
To support our argument, we spent a few weeks examining 25 teacher contracts from districts throughout Michigan, carefully choosing schools of various size and geographic location. We found countless examples of contractual expenses that are questionable in the current economic environment.
Our study is by no means scientific. It simply offers a sampling of the type of expenses that schools are forced to deal with by the state’s teachers unions. We believe Michigan residents will be surprised to learn how some of their tax dollars are spent.
Our source was the public school contract database, posted online and updated regularly by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. The database can be accessed by logging on to http://www.mackinac.org/10361.