A news service for the people of Michigan from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy

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From Each According to His Ability to Each According to His Need

Troy gym teacher pay trumps nationally recognized science teacher

A middle school gym teacher makes $99,528 a year in the Troy Public Schools. An elementary school gym teacher makes $97,108. Both made more than the district’s recently honored national teacher of the year in science, who earns $92,264.

Seven gym teachers in the district make more money than Rebecca Brewer, an AP biology teacher honored by the Troy school board this week for being selected as a national teacher of the year. Brewer implemented a program that simulates mock surgeries for her Troy High students and was selected as the ING national Innovative Teacher of the Year, according to the district.

Public school districts use a single-pay scale system that pays teachers based on seniority and education level.

Nine of the 27 full-time gym teachers in the district make $90,000 or more a year, according to a Freedom of Information Act request.

The elementary school gym teacher making $97,108 makes about $23,000 a year more than Terri McCormick, a Smith Middle School teacher who was honored through the Teacher of the Year program in 2010.

Troy School officials didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Michael Van Beek, education policy director at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, said if schools want to attract and retain quality teachers, they should pay them a competitive wage based on their market value.

“The single-salary structure is based on seniority and educational degree, regardless of their subject area and how well their students perform,” Van Beek said. “This school district has made the decision that gym teachers are just as valuable as science teachers.”

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See also:

Physics vs. Phys Ed: Regardless of Need, Schools Pay the Same

Helpful Facts About Michigan's Public Sector

Adam Neuman was not afraid to put his life on the line; he's certainly not afraid of union bullying. He fought for freedom overseas, and he simply wants to exercise it back home. But the Brighton Education Association and his school district are violating his rights.


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