Last May, while criticizing Gov. Rick Snyder’s proposed budget cuts to schools, Ithaca Public Schools Superintendent Nathan Boortz asked Snyder to “make my school a prison.”

Boortz wrote a letter to the editor saying prisons enjoyed more luxuries and received more funding than public schools in Michigan.

But Michigan’s teachers probably wouldn’t want to make that transition considering they make on average about $12,200 more a year than prison guards.

Michigan’s 5,000-plus prison guards make an average of $50,803 in 2009-2010, according to a Freedom of Information Act request. The prison guards’ salary information contains gross wages, including overtime. The average teacher salary in Michigan for 2009-2010 was $63,024, according to data from the Michigan Department of Education.

Teachers in the state of Michigan generally work about 180 days in a school year, or about 1,440 hours based on a 40-hour work week. Prison guards work 2,080 hours a year, according to a Department of Corrections official.

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Ithaca’s teachers make on average about $54,845, according to the Michigan Department of Education.

Boortz’s salary of $115,000 a year would make him among the highest paid prison officials.

The 30 “senior executive wardens” averaged $102,560 a year in 2009-2010. The highest paid senior executive warden made $163,715 in 2009-2010.


See also:

Superintendent to Governor: 'Make My School a Prison'

Average Teacher Salary in Michigan Rise Again

Helpful Facts About Michigan's Public Sector


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Ted Nelson is a retired Michigan State Police officer who trained police departments throughout the state on civil asset forfeiture. He believes the practice has been misused and needs to change.

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