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In case it wasn’t obvious what Michigan’s Democrats wanted from an “adequacy study” regarding school funding, the new state party chair has made it crystal clear: more money, no strings attached.

Brandon Dillon, a former state representative from Grand Rapids, pushed for the study last December, and got reluctant Republicans to agree to the plan in return for placing a road funding proposal on the May ballot.

The budget set aside $500,000 for the study, which is supposed to determine whether Michigan is spending enough to educate its children. The Department of Technology, Management and Budget requested proposals last month, and three firms bid on the project. The Anderson Economic Group was the only Michigan firm, and has a record of related research in both K-12 and higher education.

Yet Dillon was displeased to hear of the AEG bid, saying on Twitter that his legislation “actually has criteria for vendors” that excluded the firm. He also called the company’s CEO a “hack” in an interview.

Dillon wants a firm with a record of finding that states shortchange their schools — which opens those states to lawsuits. The committee charged with selecting the winning bid should take a more nuanced approach.

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