Welcome To Michigan's Oldest & Most Respected
Public Policy Research Organization

For 100 years, the objective of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan has been to provide factual, unbiased independent information on significant issues concerning state and local government organization and finance. CRC believes that the use of this information by policymakers will lead to sound, rational public policy in Michigan.

Citizens Research Council Centennial

Having been originally organized in 1916, 2016 marks 100 years of operation for the Citizens Research Council. We have events planned, a history of the organization is in the works, and associations and governments are sending congratulatory comments. Please help us celebrate this accomplishment throughout the year.

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Latest Publications

Options to Address School District Accumulated Deficits

Options to Address School District Accumulated Deficits Memo 1114, July 2012 On Monday, July 9, the newly formed board of the Muskegon Heights Public School Academy signed an agreement with a charter school operator to provide all educational services to all of the Muskegon Heights School District beginning in fall 2012. This action effectively converts the entire school district to a charter school, which is part of the plan crafted by the emergency manager appointed under Public Act 4 of 2011 ...

Using State Shared Revenues to Incentivize Local Government Behavior

Using State Shared Revenues to Incentivize Local Government Behavior State Budget Note 2012-03 ( July 2012 ) 10 pages Governor Snyder signed the $49 billion fiscal year 2013 (FY2013) state budget on Tuesday, June 26. Tucked within the various appropriation line items and the related controlling provisions of the FY2013 budget is the second year of a policy shift in how the state shares its financial resources with sub-state entities – K-12 school districts and local governments. The main thrus...

Using State Shared Revenues to Incentivize Local Government Behavior

Using State Shared Revenues to Incentivize Local Government Behavior State Budget Note 2012-03, July 2012 Governor Snyder signed the $49 billion fiscal year 2013 (FY2013) state budget on Tuesday, June 26. Tucked within the various appropriation line items and the related controlling provisions of the FY2013 budget is the second year of a policy shift in how the state shares its financial resources with sub-state entities – K-12 school districts and local governments. The main thrust of the shi...

State Bailouts to Erase School District Accumulated Deficits

State Bailouts to Erase School District Accumulated Deficits Memo 1113 ( June 2012 ) 5 pages Beginning in the fall of 2012 all educational services in the Muskegon Heights School District will be turned over to a charter school operator and the District will no longer be involved in the direct provision of such services under a plan proposed by the state-appointed emergency manager. This plan would be implemented under Public Act 4 of 2011. As part of this “charter conversion” plan, the Dist...

Blog: CRC Column

CRC Revenue Sharing Report Subject of Detroit News Editorial

A July 12 Detroit News editorial cites CRC’s recent revenue sharing report and highlights the finding that the policy shift from unrestricted revenue sharing to incentive-based state funding to encourage changes in local government behavior will be of limited effect because nearly 1,200 of Michigan’s cities, villages, and townships are not eligible for the money.

Muskegon Heights School District

A recent CRC report (State Bailouts to Erase School District Accumulated Deficits) exploring the plan by the state-appointed emergency manager for the Muskegon Heights School District to convert the entire district to a charter school gained considerable media attention.  CRC’s analysis of the plan, which effectively boils down to a state bailout to eliminate the district’s projected $12 million accumulated deficit, was featured in stories published by Mlive, the Detroit Free Press, and Mic...

New Pew Study Confirms CRC and Others’ Previous Findings About Michigan’s Corrections Policies

A recent study from The Pew Center on the States confirms the findings contained in a 2008 CRC report on Michigan’s corrections system.  Pew’s recent findings also align with what other organizations, both national and Michigan-based, have found to be true about the interaction of Michigan’s sentencing structure and parole policies. The bottom line in all these studies:  Michigan public policies have resulted in prisoners being incarcerated longer than they used to and longer than other ...

1917 Report on Street Cleaning and Refuse Collection in Detroit posted to website

In 1916, the appearance of Detroit’s streets, alleys, and public places was “disgraceful”.  People regularly dropped paper and other waste wherever they were, rubbish was thrown into alleys with merely the hope of hitting the receptacle intended to hold that waste, and a fine filmy dust was constantly settling on the roads creating a “nuisance”. At the same time the population of the city was growing extremely rapid, with new territories annexed to the outskirts of...

  • Your knowledge and ability to distill the key issues in an easily understood manner is indeed impressive. As a long-time member of the Michigan School Business Officials, and current president, I look forward to your presentations and updates. They are thoughtful, balanced, and accurate. To say that you are a credible source on state finances is an understatement.

    Timothy Raymer
    Assistant Superintendent, Grandville Public Schools

  • The Citizens Research Council of Michigan -- the folks that bring you all those great non-partisan reports and data on Michigan government, laws, etc. are finally up and running on the web and it was worth the wait. This is a great site. Low-key graphics, great indexing, plenty of content including all their reports, research and memos...This is an invaluable tool...

    Debbie Gallagher, Government Information Specialist
    Michigan Electronic Library, University of Michigan

  • The Citizens Research Council of Michigan has been providing unbiased analysis of public issues since 1916. It is one of this state's indispensable institutions... The CRC's supporters recognize the need for impartial and nonpartisan analysis of local and state policy and fiscal issues... The value of the CRC over the years has been that it is private and independent of political party or ideology.


    The Detroit News

  • Dear CRC,
    Thank you for all the fine work you do. I'm a long time reader of you analyses and am a better citizen because of it.

    George Matthews
    Retired School Teacher

  • I have had a long relationship using the publications of the Citizens Research Council...you do a lot of good work here and we appreciate the support that keeps this operation so vital and relevant to the debates in Lansing, to Michigan's economic future, and to Michigan's future, period.

    Honorable John Engler
    Former Michigan Governor

  • The Citizens Research Council strives, without regard to political party or agenda, to frame educational issues in a balanced and thought-provoking context. Its consistent record of objectivity and thoroughness has made the CRC a high quality and immensely credible resource for policymakers at the state and local leadership levels. You can always count on CRC's findings to be solid and trustworthy.

    Mike Flanagan
    Michigan Superintendent of Public Instruction

  • Fortunately, we have here in Michigan an admirable entity known as the Citizens Research Council. CRC often comes to the rescue in public policy disputes and has demonstrated an acute ability to separate fact from fiction.

    Glenn Gilbert
    Oakland Press

  • The non-aligned Citizens Research Council of Michigan is a group with no particular axes to grind that we can see. Their bare-bones, passionless and objective studies of Michigan's ballot proposals might prove very helpful to interested voters wanting to make the most informed possible choices.


    Muskegon Chronicle

  • Since 1916, the CRC has been an advocate of state and local "good government." The Research Council's studies of policy and administrative practice in Michigan win national prizes for excellence, and universal respect from the best of our state and local leaders.

    Michael Meagher
    Fowlerville News/Review

  • Nonpartisan, accurate, unbiased and credible research on key issues, from school vouchers to Internet sales tax to better ways to finance highway construction to ideas for eliminating the blight of abandoned, tax-reverted properties in Michigan's older cities.

    Mary Kramer
    Crain's Detroit Business

  • [Escanaba Schools Superintendent Tom] Smith respects the findings of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan. "It's a pretty good group, well-respected, nonpartisan," he said. "Its opinions have been valued by both Democrats and Republicans as they formulate state policy"and by teachers and administrators alike."


    Daily Press, Escanaba

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