Bridge: News and analysis from The Center for Michigan

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Vulnerable children & families

How Michigan ‘games’ the welfare-to-work system

Michigan is among states that spend the lowest percentage of welfare dollars on services intended to help struggling people rejoin the workforce. Its strategy: Finding creative ways to relabel other budget items as welfare spending.

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Guest commentary

Selling yourself at the business holiday party

Tips for networking at a holiday party, and pitfalls to avoid. Spoiler alert: Concentrate more on the business part than the partying.




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Business Bridge

Pension, healthcare rollbacks for public workers die in lame duck

Efforts in Lansing to lower unfunded liabilities by converting pensions into 401(k)-like accounts for teachers and capping public employees’ retirement healthcare benefits will likely be renewed in January.




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Talent & education

Betsy DeVos’s Michigan legacy

The nominee for U.S. Education Secretary has used money and muscle to make Michigan a free-market lab for charter and school choice expansion. Can she sell the results?




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Detroit bankruptcy and beyond

Black flight to suburbs masks lingering segregation in metro Detroit

Residential racism may be less overt than in the 1960s, but whites still live among whites, and blacks among blacks, 50 years after the violence of 1967.




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Phil's column

A Chinese voice on Trump, free speech and political correctness

A heavily censored Chinese media is not conducive to a well-informed citizenry. But free speech alone won’t solve problems facing the U.S.




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Business Bridge

Report: Michigan must spend billions more a year to modernize infrastructure

A governor-appointed commission says state must spend $4 billion more annually to update roads, bridges, energy and water systems. Michigan spends a smaller portion on infrastructure than the U.S. average.




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Business Bridge

Unions vow to fight Lansing on public pensions, health care

Supporters of the bills, including GOP legislators and some municipalities, say generous benefits were promised decades ago in different economic times and are now unsustainable. Teachers and city workers say they’ve sacrificed enough.




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Guest commentary

Isn’t unemployment enough of a burden without a kick from a robo-enforcer?

This lame-duck session, Michigan lawmakers need to end the victimization of the unemployed, via an out-of-control computer system.




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Guest commentary

School choice and quality don’t always go together

It’s essential for our communities to have quality education available for their children. But choice isn’t the way to get there.




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Talent & education

In state with low reading scores, a West Michigan effort shows promise

Many of today’s kindergarteners may eventually have to repeat third grade if their reading skills fall short. In West Michigan, 100 school districts have joined forces to boost early reading. The goal: to pass every student to fourth grade.




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Guest commentary

Vulnerable kids can’t improve reading if their parents can’t help

A new law that will hold back students who can’t read by third grade is intended to boost early reading skills so that retention is not necessary. For this to work, state must take steps to help low-education parents help their children at home.




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The Center for Michigan

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