Teachers Union President: It’s A Lousy Job And Young People Should Look Elsewhere

The pay and benefits don't look bad based on number of people applying

In a Detroit News column dedicated to union officials, Michigan Education Association President Paula Herbart wrote on what has been a recurring theme heard from the state’s largest teachers’ union. Oddly, it defames the profession it represents.

In her column, Herbart wrote, “Many well-meaning friends and family members attempt to dissuade the best and brightest young college students from going into teaching. Sygnett Swann, a second-year math teacher in Kalamazoo, put it this way: ‘There’s not a lot of people going into the profession because people are either telling them not to, or because they hear about all the negative legislation attacking the profession.’”

ForTheRecord says: According to records received from a Freedom of Information Act request, Swann’s old school district is not seeing any shortage of people applying for teaching jobs. In 2016-17, there were 440 people who applied for teaching jobs at Kalamazoo Public Schools.

To put that in perspective, the district had 808 full-time teachers that year.

Teachers in Kalamazoo work 190 days (including two comp days) and have an average salary of $56,745. The district offers a full medical plan that includes health, life, vision, dental and long-term disability insurance. The top of scale salary for a teacher with a master’s degree is $74,007. New teachers hired after Feb. 1, 2018, will get generous employer contributions (up to 7 percent of their salary) to 401(k) or annuity accounts.

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