Source: Sherman Publications

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.