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State Supt. Flanagan: Michigan Teachers Should Make $100K

The head of the Michigan Department of Education asserts that higher wages would encourage more people to become teachers.

The key to getting more qualified math and science teachers into Michigan schools is simple, according to state Superintendent Mike Flanagan: pay them more.

Flanagan, who heads up the Michigan Department of Education, said Monday at an assembly of scientists at Michigan State University that Michigan schools need more math and science teachers. The problem, he said, is that most scientists and mathematicians don't consider teaching in public schools to be a viable career option.

“We can do all we want with content standards, but the elephant in the room is that it won’t do much good if we don’t have enough math and science teachers in our schools,” Flanagan said while discussing science standards in K-12 shools, according to a release from the state.

“When you ratchet-up teacher salaries to $100,000-plus, market forces will direct more mid-career changers and you’ll attract more math and science college students into our educator prep programs,” he added. “We need to be moving all teachers to that salary level to continue getting the best and brightest people educating our students.

“It’s all about talent.”

Average teacher salaries, according to statistics released annually by the MDE, vary by tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the school district. No district's average salary in 2010-11 hit $100,000.

For example, the average salary for a teacher within Dearborn Public Schools in 2010-11 was $75,190.

Do you think Michigan teachers should have higher salaries? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.

Correction: The average teachers salary at Birmingham Public Schools in 2010-11 was $75,323.07, district officials said Jan. 31. The original version of this story incorrectly stated that Birmingham had the highest average teacher salary in the state, at $94,703. This number was provided by the Michigan Department of Education, however district officials said this week that salary data had been mis-reported to the state in 2011.

laplateau January 31, 2013 at 03:17 PM
Lee...again, great points for our liberal friends to ponder.
Jeannette Pryciak Capote February 01, 2013 at 12:12 AM
You seem to forget all the evenings and weekends they work which more than make up for the holidays that they have off. Many of my teacher friends spent the last 3 day weekend entering report card grades... not going on a weekend trip with their families like anyone else who may have had a long weekend. You just don't want to give credit where credit is due.
Lee Jacobsen February 01, 2013 at 11:55 PM
Jeannette, In today's equalized wealth society, it is great that teachers , the good ones, go the extra mile and put in extra hours to do a better job. Not all teachers go the extra mile. Many teachers have assistants that we don't even hear about. I work 75 hours a week, make more that a teacher does, but take a lot more risk as well. A tenured teacher has no risk. Read more here. http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1859505,00.html It is irksome to work extremely hard, and then be expected to support the folk that don't choose, or by circumstance, can't work as hard. Is that my fault that their choice results in my paying their way via higher taxes? My point? If you want more, then work harder. Many do, and are taxed more as a result. Is this fair? Everyone should pay the same percentage of tax on income, that is fair. If you want to coast, get a 'liver' diability like many folk do in Detroit and don't work at all. Vote for the Dems to keep the same benefits coming. After 65 years of Detroit run by the Dems, look at the results. Deplorable. Why no change? Would you change a system if you didn't have to work, made almost as much as a teacher, paid no taxes, and it was all given to you by the govt? Time to clean house, reward the good teachers, fire the bad ones, and force non-working folk to do something to earn the free govt handouts. Harsh? Teachers can't pay all the taxes. Where is a USA budget?
laplateau February 02, 2013 at 04:20 AM
Lee, again, you make excellent points to consider. Thanks
City of Dearborn February 02, 2013 at 04:27 AM
Hi everyone - just so you know, it has been discovered that the statistics on the average salary of Birmingham teachers were reported incorrectly by the district to the state, resulting in incorrect numbers coming from the Michigan Department of Education. A correction with the accurate average salary has been noted in the article.

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