Monthly Archives: August 2014

Teachers: Happy Labor Day?

The Detroit Free Press’s “Raw Data” series just came out with an article pointing out the decline in teacher salaries in Michigan (and most of the rest of the country) since 1999.

Mind you, this decline has taken place at the same time many Michigan colleges have increased graduation requirements for teacher certification to 5 years.  So, due to the increased time needed for certification, the cost of college has increased  for those aspiring to be teachers, as the certification and renewal process has also become more difficult and costly, while teachers must meet the requirements of “highly qualified” as determined by NCLB.

And pay is declining.

Oh, those selfish teachers.

From the Free Press:

Salaries for public school teachers in Michigan declined 8% between 1999 and 2012 — the third largest decline among states, according to data from the National Education Association. The average salary for a Michigan public school teacher was $61,560 in 2012. Nationwide, teacher salaries declined by about 1%, to $56,383, with 27 states reporting that average salaries fell during the same period.

Average teacher salaries vary depending upon teacher education and years of experience. Michigan public school teachers with a bachelor’s degree as their highest degree and full-time teaching experience of two years or less earned an average salary of $36,620 in 2011, the latest data available from the National Center for Education Statistics, part of the U.S. Department of Education.

Average salaries were slightly higher, at $38,070, for teachers with 3-5 years of experience. Yet their salaries remained lower than the national average of $40,030 for teachers with similar education and experience.” (Emphasis added)

Just for fun (and context), let’s compare this to what has happened with national CEO pay during a similar period, as outlined in a report by the Economic Policy Institute:

“‘From 1978 to 2012,’ states the report, ‘CEO compensation measured with options realized increased about 875 percent, a rise more than double stock market growth and substantially greater than the painfully slow 5.4 percent growth in a typical worker’s compensation over the same period.

Another method of calculation relies on ‘options granted,’ taking into account the value of the stock at the time the option is awarded, rather than the ultimate value it achieves. By this method, CEO’s in 2012 earned 202.3 times as much as average employees.”

Which leaves me with an observation:

It’s clear what we really value, and it isn’t those who serve our communities and children.

And a question:

Who will ever choose to be a part of the next generation of teachers?