This week, NEA released this year’s edition of its Rankings and Estimates report, a well-respected and anticipated national “by-the-numbers” look at public education. This year’s data continues to tell a scary story about the state of educator pay in Michigan:
- After adjusting for inflation, average teacher salaries in the United States have fallen by 4.5% over the last decade. Over the same period and with the same adjustment, average Michigan teacher salaries have fallen by 12% – fourth worst in the nation.
- The average starting teacher salary nationwide in 2017-18 was $39,172, up 1.44% compared to the previous year. However, in Michigan, the average starting salary was $36,309, up just .8% from the prior year. Michigan ranks 32nd in starting salary.
- Nationwide, 37% of districts have a starting salary of at least $40,000. In Michigan, just 12% of districts hit that level.
This salary data lines up with other research from MSU, which shows Michigan is last in the nation for education funding increases over the past 25 years, and the School Finance Research Collaborative’s study which concluded Michigan’s schools are underfunded by at least $2,000 per pupil.
All this points to the critical need for Gov. Whitmer’s proposed education funding increases to become law. That’s why MEA is engaged in our #RedForEd plans, including sharing Reality Checks with the general public. Learn more about these efforts – which lead up to events at the Capitol in June – and what you can do to help at www.mea.org/redfored.