Posthumus Lyons is Michigan’s Least Ethical Legislator


Republican Representative Lisa Posthumus Lyons, who calls herself a “proud product of public education,” chairs the education committee for the State House.  She made headlines most recently with her quip “pigs get fat, and hogs get slaughtered” in reference to teachers who are to lose their jobs when their school districts get dissolved by the state. Previous to […]

Company that Shunned Michigan for Florida’s Tax Giveaways Now Being Sued By Florida County


In May of 2012, a company called BlueWare, or anyone of a number of “affiliate” names, announced it was relocating its company from Cadillac to Melbourne, Florida.  Melbourne, located in Brevard County, is in an area of Florida known as the “space coast” because it is home to the Kennedy Space Center.  The space coast has been hit hard by the cut backs at NASA, and even some highly skilled […]

House Republicans Move Forward Anti-Teacher Legislation Despite Objections From Almost Every Educational Group in the State


The House Education Committee passed a bill today (HB4625) that would institute merit pay for new teachers or for those wanting to opt into the merit pay system.  The bill would become law when the Michigan Council on Educator Effectiveness, whose members are all appointed by Republicans, put out their final teacher evaluation tool.  That group has been meeting for 18 months […]

Fixing the Roads: The Issues, the Numbers, and Why Schools are Being Dragged Into the Mess


A recent town hall meeting on road funding in Wexford County revealed a lot about the condition of our roads.  It also revealed the most likely scenario for funding ongoing road repairs. County Road Association of Michigan Deputy Director Ed Noyola set the tone for the meeting by saying “your roads stink.”  Kelly Bartlett from the Department of […]

George Bush/Dick DeVos Charter School Fundraiser Highlights Disturbing Future of Public Schools


George W. Bush and school privatization advocate Dick DeVos teamed up to raise over $400,000 for the West Michigan Aviation Academy this week.  West Michigan Aviation Academy (WMAA) is a public charter high school that already receives more money per pupil from the state than 511 of Michigan’s 826 school districts.  WMAA’s enrollment is expected to be around 400 students next year.  If you figure […]

Michissippi Rising: Rick Snyder is our Jefferson Davis

Some people have begun calling Michigan Michissippi.  This is not meant as an insult to the many smart and decent people who live in Mississippi.  It is meant as an insult to the dominant political force in Mississippi whose ideals are now gaining traction in Michigan.   Those ideals are not a lot different than they were during the […]

Michigan’s Poor and Middle Class are Disproportionately Burdened with Taxes. Snyder’s Road Bill Would Add to the Problem.

Michigan has a fairly regressive tax rate.  According to data from The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), the bottom 80% of Michiganders pay almost 10% of their income in taxes while the top 20% only pay about 7% of their income in taxes.  This occurs in part because of our state’s reliance on […]

Legislators Have the Means to Make Michigan Schools Safer. Here is What They Should Do and How You Can Help.

Legislators have the means to make Michigan schools safer.  Since Republicans have  control of the House, the Senate, and the Governorship, they will need to lead the initiative.  Here are three relatively uncontroversial ways they can help us protect school children. 1. Intermediate School Districts (ISDs) should be put in charge of school safety.  ISDs are supposed […]

Republicans Pledge Support For Teachers (No this is not a joke)


They’ve compared teachers to whiny children who haven’t earned their allowance.  They are making them pay an additional 6% or more for benefits they were already promised.  They have raided the school aid fund causing their employers to freeze their wages and charge them more for health insurance.  The fiscal chaos they unnecessarily created has increased their work load and eliminated opportunities for their students.  Some […]

School District Loses $57,000 for Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Do you remember the movie Indecent Proposal?  The movie, released in 1993, starred on-screen couple Demi Moore and Woody Harrelson.  It also starred Robert Redford as a handsome billionaire.  Redford’s character becomes so smitten with Moore’s character after meeting her in a casino that he offers the couple, who just lost their life savings, a million dollars for one night alone with her.  That […]

Michigan Populists’ Top 5 Threats to Democracy in 2013


2013 Ranking (2012 Ranking) 1. (not listed) Governor Richard Snyder- It is one thing to be eccentric (call it a nerd if you want).  It is quite another to completely disregard this crucial fact; government is not a business.  States are democratic institutions.  Businesses are not.  Businesses have one goal, to make a profit.  Government has many goals, and making a […]

Drumroll Please . . . After Two Years of “Reinvention” We are Still the 47th Best State to do Business in!


For the third year in a row, Michigan was ranked 47th in Forbes’ Best States for Business and Careers list.  The people at Forbes were nice enough to let Governor Snyder write an op-ed to offer excuses for why his policies aren’t working.  In the article that posted less than 24 hours after right-to-work became law, Snyder predicted […]