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Mackinac Center baffled by criticism over opt-out mailings

"Rest in Peace" by Randy Robertson on Flickr

Officials from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy—an upstanding and impartial research institute in Midland, Michigan—are expressing their frustration over educator backlash due to mailings sent by the organization that encourage teachers to opt out of the Michigan Education Association this August.

“We were beyond perplexed,” Mackinac Center Director of Research Dennis Stephan said. “We thought that the mere mention of saving $1,000 would rally support for a massive opt-out movement. Think about it: $1,000 can feed a family of three Subway footlongs for nearly a year. Well, as long as they don’t order the Big Philly Cheesesteak. That one is way overpriced.”

According to Carole Machado, a research associate with the Mackinac Center, teachers have objected to wording in the mailings that suggest they spend their summers relaxing at the beach with scarcely a thought about the coming school year.

“That’s when it dawned on us that we simply didn’t understand our audience,” Machado said. “Teachers aren’t spending their summers visiting with relatives in podunk Michigan towns. They’re obviously relaxing at their estates in the Caymans. And that line about what they could do with an extra $1,000? It’s just chump change for teachers. After all, we’re talking about people who get three months off with a steady paycheck and a Cadillac health plan. They’re living the high life every day.”

In a last-minute effort to raise teacher awareness about the opt-out period, the Mackinac Center will send out new mailings this week with a revised message. “We think we’ve really nailed it with this one,” Machado said.

You can view the new mailing below.


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