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

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Teachers in Conventional Public Schools Earn More Than Prison Teachers

Typical teacher works 180 days per year vs. full year for prison teachers

Public school teachers in Michigan make slightly more money than their colleagues who teach in state prisons.

An recent analysis found that public school teachers made 1 percent more than the teachers who work in state prisons. Teachers in the public school system generally work about 180 days in the school calendar year, which translates to 1,440 hours of work. Teachers working in state prisons put in 2,080 hours a year annually, which is a typical full year of work.

The average public school teacher salary in Michigan for 2009-2010 was $63,024, according to data from the Michigan Department of Education. That’s the most recent year salary information is available for public school teachers.

The average salary of a prison teacher for 2009-10 was $62,358, according to Department of Corrections salary data received in a Freedom of Information Act request.

The highest paid prison teacher in 2009-10 earned $78,550. There were 146 prison teachers in 2009-10.

Prison teachers’ salaries dropped in 2010-11. The average salary of a prison teacher was $59,936. There were 133 teachers working for the DOC in 2010-11. The highest paid prison teacher in 2010-11 made $76,420. By comparison, the Troy Public School District alone had 17 gym teachers make more than $76,420 in 2010-11.

Prison teachers need a current, valid Michigan teaching certificate and a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in their field of education, according to Russ Marlan, spokesman for the Department of Corrections.

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See also:

The $100K-Plus Employees in Michigan's Prison System

Prison Guards vs. Teachers: Who Is Worth More?

Who Are the $100K-Plus Employees at the Detroit Public Schools?

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