Source: Sherman Publications

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Public School Teachers

March 23, 2011

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy has made these statements and comparisons about public teachers in Michigan -- as an average. Next week, we hope to compare what the folks at the think-tank have stated to what is happening locally.


Nationally, Michigan has the 8th highest average public school teacher salary.

From 2003 to 2009, Michigan teaching salaries were the highest in the nation when controlling for state per capita personal income

The average salary for Michigan public school teachers is $62,000. The average salary for private school teachers nationally is $39,700; when including benefits, the disparity is even greater.

The average annual across-the-board salary increase from 2003 to 2010 was 1.8 percent.

Health Insurance

In 2009, teachers in 300 Michigan districts paid nothing to the costs of their own health insurance premiums.

For Michigan public school teachers, their average contribution to the health insurance premium for family plan is 4 percent. The Michigan private-sector average is 21 percent, and the average for federal employees in Michigan is about 25 percent.

Michigan public school districts spent an average of 47 percent more for a family plan health insurance premium for teachers than the private-sector average.

Michigan spends $1,300 per pupil on school employee health insurance, up 56 percent since 2000, after adjusting for inflation.

80 percent of Michigan school districts use MESSA for at least one employee group. MESSA's average premium went up 13 percent last year.

Most teachers get subsidized post-employment health insurance for life.

Other Benefits

Michigan spends $1,500 per pupil on school employee pensions, up 25 percent since 2000, after adjusting for inflation

Michigan public school employees get a defined-benefit pension that they can start collecting at age 55 after 10 years on the job or after 30 years at age 46.

Most teachers are contractually obligated to work 185 days per year. The average private-sector work year is about 245 days.