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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 schools, 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.

Clawson Public Schools teachers average $55,821 that year, ranking 308th in the state. Teachers in Birmingham Area Schools—ranked No. 1 in average salary —came in at $94,703. 

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

Tim January 29, 2013 at 12:20 PM
I don't see how this is being responsible with the revenue that comes in to just pay teachers more. Teachers should be paid based on their performance and "value" they bring. However, the notion to pay people more just because is a bad idea. Can we really afford the higher taxes it would take to make this happen? I can not believe the wastefulness of the current system so I have a hard time getting behind these statements.
Haulin T Male January 29, 2013 at 02:57 PM
I have a different take, Tim, higher taxes to just pay more, no, but to pay more by rearranging priorities, yes. Gov't employees and all of the pay grades that are there, why you can be at a different Pay Grade, higher, and make less then a person in a grade below them, so it is not on performance, it is on if a test is available to move up a pay grade, http://www.leesburgva.gov/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=1757 ........ so acording to the pay grades there is a lot of over lapping.... I close, good Teachers are very hard to find, should they make less then the Traffic cont' person at either end of a construction Zone........ who works about the same number of days....... (generality please)
John P. Morse January 29, 2013 at 06:09 PM
This is nuts. Teachers with their benefits and retirement packages probably make this anyway. Property taxes are high enough in Clawson without more increases. No one forces anyone to go into teaching. If you don't like the pay don't go it. Maybe if the NEA, MEA, CEA DIDN’T GIVE SO MUCH IN POLITCAL CONTRIBUTIONS TO DEMOCRAT PARTY THEy WOUND HAVE MORE MONEY FOR PAY. God Bless Private and religious school teachers who sacrafice for thier profession
Haulin T Male January 30, 2013 at 01:36 AM
I know where Clawson stands in comparison to the other Cities as far as tax rates, and the city just slipped a new charge, under every ones noses, by lumping off the water dept. witch was paid for by our Tax rate. and now 4 times a year we are being billed to run the Water dept. with a quarterly charge to run the dept. as an separable unit slick isn't it. ? I said above the state would have to reorganize it's priorities, I didn't say any thing "new". as far as private schools a product of 13 yr's of private, as were all my 5 kids, oh by the way the clw sch brd. is going to ask for another tax hike. are you ready that's on top of the 4 million bond etc.
Kurt January 30, 2013 at 02:08 PM
How much do you think teachers deseverve to make then John? Yes teachers get benefits and a pension, are teachers the only employees that have these? Teachers contribute to their health care and pensions same as anyone else why is it that teachers always seem to get paid too much in everyone opinion? Also how are private and religious school teachers sacraficing for their profession? is it by being paid less? Isn't it also true that those schools are selective in who they let into the school and parents also pay tuition so more than likely they have fewer behavior problems to deal with and if they are struggling academically the families will have the means to help them with tutors. How is this a sacrafice? I'm just guessing by your comments that you are not in said Democratic party, which is your choice but just remember your party is being led by an independently wealthy group that wants to make each other richer. Unless your in that group your up a creek just like the rest of us.
Cheryl Junker January 31, 2013 at 05:18 PM
Religious schools are funded by the Church, through tithes and students' tuition. Many teachers are nuns and do not consider it a sacrifice but a choice to join the Convent. They live frugally, housing costs and healthcare are paid by the Church and they don't have families to support! The Felician nuns I know are still teaching into their eighties, a sacrifice indeed! And yet, even Parochial schools struggle and must close when enrollment shrinks!

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