A teacher taking a job at L’Anse Creuse Public Schools four years ago would have seen his or her salary increase by 37 percent from then until today. The district pays 100 percent of the health insurance premiums for teachers and allows up to 38 visits to a chiropractor for fully-covered massage therapy treatments.
Amber Kasic Sullivan, a Spanish teacher at L’Anse Creuse High School, did a guest column for the Detroit Free Press this week. In it, she explained that she felt “very unappreciated” and “devalued.”
Two samples of her commentary:
“A teacher such as myself is feeling very unappreciated and devalued in our state and society as a whole at this time. I thought I could at least turn to my legislators, as people who surely encountered phenomenal teachers in their lives that led to the obvious success you possess, to value me, and show me that they understand the true value of a great teacher.”
“You will see the best teachers leave the profession, or at least, leave the public schools. After all, if we're going to be paid like private school teachers, we should “reap the same benefits” right? A room full of students who come to you ALREADY yearning for an education, and parents who push them to do well in school.”
L’Anse Creuse teachers are contracted to work 7 hour, 15 minute days for 176 days a year. The superintendent works 260 days.
A hypothetical teacher starting at L’Anse Creuse in 2006-07 had a starting salary of $36,320. By 2010-11, that salary increased to $49,668, a jump of 37 percent. That teacher would also get a two-percent ($993) bonus in 2010-11.
For 2011, the teacher will contribute $3,476 to his or her pension and the school district will kick in $9,933.
The district pays the entire premium for the teacher’s health insurance and a family health plan carries a $200 annual deductible. The health insurance for the teacher cost the district $14,954 in 2009.
By comparison, an average private sector worker making use of an employer-provided health insurance plan pays 20 percent of the premium cost, with the employer picking up the remaining 80 percent.
If a L’Anse Creuse teacher were to pay what the average private sector worker pays for health insurance premiums, it would have cost that teacher an additional $14,000 over five years, according to Mackinac Center for Public Policy Education Policy Director Michael Van Beek.