The Grand Rapids Press recently interviewed public school teachers who asserted that their profession is losing respect and they are treated like scapegoats.

Michigan Capitol Confidential looked at some of the comments made by the teachers and then examined what the typical compensation and benefits are for educators in their district with similar years of experience.

Caledonia Public Schools:

Quote to newspaper:

“It used to be that teachers were treated with respect,” said Pat Gillies, a physical education teacher and coach at Caledonia High School. “I've been doing this 15 years, and I've seen a lot of changes. I just don't think people treat the profession with the same amount of respect, and I have to think that comes from the home.”

Caledonia Public Schools pays 100 percent of the premium for teachers who choose the MESSA Choices II health care plan. Private-sector employees in Michigan that are covered by their employer’s health care plan contribute (on average) 20 percent of the cost of the plan.

A teacher with 15 years of experience in Caledonia and a bachelor’s degree would earn $63,620 per year. An assistant varsity football coach could earn up to $4,923 for the 4 ½ month season. The district would contribute about $13,700 to the teacher’s retirement account in the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System to cover their pension.

Allendale Public Schools:

Quote to newspaper:

"People say to me, 'What are you whining about? You get summers off.' They don't understand that we don't get paid during the summer unless we elect to stretch out those payments. We're actually unemployed in the summer." -- Tamika Henry, New Options Alternative School (Allendale Public Schools)

Allendale Public Schools pays 100 percent of the premium for teachers who select the MESSA Choices II health care plan. (The district does require an annual co-pay that is capped at $250 for individuals and $500 per family for medical expenses incurred.) A teacher with a bachelor’s degree with 10 years of teaching experience would earn $51,754. The district would contribute about $10,350 annually to the teacher’s retirement plan in MPSERS to cover their pension.

Teachers in Allendale are allowed to extend their pay to the summer months, still are covered by their health insurance during summer vacation and have a job waiting for them when they return in the fall.

Grandville Public Schools:

Quote to newspaper:

“Teaching is an awesome career, and I wouldn't trade what I've done for anything in the world,” said Grandville teacher Sandy Bajema, a 25-year veteran. “Now, would I encourage my kids to head into the field? I'd have to think about that.”

Grandville pays 100 percent of health care premiums for teachers who select the MESSA Choices II health care plan. A teacher with 25 years of experience and a bachelor’s degree would earn an annual salary of $66,260. A teacher with 25 years experience and a master’s degree would earn $74,463. The district would contribute about $13,252 to the teacher's retirement plan in MPSERS to cover their pension.

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See also:

Teacher Union Prez: Stronger Emergency Financial Managers Will Be "Just Like Being in the Slave Days"

Cutting state spending requires going where the money is: K-12 education

Analyst : “Atomic Bomb” Budget Cuts to K-12 are Historic but Necessary

The West Bloomfield Teacher 'Sick Out'

Average Eaton Rapids Teacher’s Salary $55,826 ; Contributes Just 2 Percent for Health Plan

Teacher Pay Hikes Happen Despite Expired Union Contract

Typical educator compensation grows to $129k in 11 years

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