Beyond Pension Debts, Michigan Owes $31 Billion in Public Employee Retirement Benefits

Net liabilities in Michigan for so-called other post-employment benefits (OPEBs), which consist mainly of health care obligations to retired public employees, stood at about $31 billion in fiscal year 2019, according to a new analysis from the Reason Foundation. 

With a population of 9,986,857, the state posted a per-capita OPEB liability of $3,099, which represents the 15th highest value among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, the Reason study found. 

In total, these liabilities amount to 6% of the U.S. gross domestic product, the researchers said. These debts are also geographically concentrated, with 15 government jurisdictions representing 50% of the total, the study found. 

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New Study Finds Detroit Charter Schools Receive 29 Percent Less Per Pupil than Traditional Public Schools

A new study from the University of Arkansas found the average disparity in per-pupil funding between traditional public schools and their public charter schools across 18 cities reached $7,796 per-pupil — a record high.

In Detroit, public charter schools educate over 40% of K-12 students.

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Tool Shows How Much Money is Locked Out of Michigan Classrooms Because of $40 Billion Pension Debt Service

A new tool reveals thousands of dollars per student each year is paying longstanding debt service rather than helping Michigan students prepare for a successful future.

Leonard Gilroy, vice president of the libertarian Reason Foundation and senior managing director of the Pension Integrity Project, told The Center Square that changing markets, underfunding below actuary recommendations, and the Great Recession has made it harder to hit investment targets for pension funds in the last few decades.

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