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

A Tecumseh Public School official says there isn't a second-year teacher with a master's degree making $31,000 a year, despite claims by the Michigan Education Association president and a local website saying that such a teacher exists.

MEA President Steven Cook made the claim twice recently in Detroit News columns.

His statement was then repeated by the website, Blogging for Michigan, which said it found the $31,000-a-year, second year teacher with a master's degree.

Blogging for Michigan, which states on its website: “All Rights Reserved. Suck on that, GOP,” claimed to have found the teacher and posted a paycheck stub with the name of the teacher removed. The website says it is run by Christine Barry, who didn’t return a phone message seeking comment.

Jim Brown, payroll manager at Tecumseh Public Schools, said that a memo of understanding between the union and the district imposed a 10-percent pay cut below the contractual starting salary for teachers just hired. But none met the circumstances the union claims.

The salary schedule on the Tecumseh school district website says that a starting salary for a teacher with a master’s degree is $37,116. Brown said that would be reduced to $33,405 after the 10-percent reduction. That teacher would have remained at that salary for a second year due to the memo of understanding between the district and the union, he said, adding that all teacher’s had their salaries restored to the full schedule amount as of April 27.

Brown said a first-year teacher with a bachelor’s degree would start with a salary of $33,665, which would be reduced to $30,299 after the 10-percent reduction.

The Michigan Association of School Boards reported in 2011 that a first-year teacher with a bachelor’s degree had an average salary of $36,798.

Many districts offer much higher salaries to teachers just starting out. For instance, in Grosse Pointe, a second-year teacher with a master’s degree makes $52,265. In River Rouge, that teacher makes $50,522. The average teacher’s salary in Michigan is $63,024, according to the Michigan Department of Education.

Nonetheless, on March 28, the MEA's Cook first mentioned a teacher with a gross salary of $31,000 per year with a master’s degree and in the second year on the job. On April 25, he said in a column that the teacher was from Lenawee county and repeated the salary and experience claim.

 Cook didn’t respond to emails seeking comment.

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See also:

MEA President Repeats 'Disingenuous' Claim About Teacher Pay

MEA's Underpaid Teacher Claims Don't Fit With The Facts

Are Teachers With Master's Degrees Forced To Take Food Stamps?

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Star International Academy is the highest ranked high school in Michigan on the Mackinac Center for Public Policy's Contest and Performance report card for both 2014 and 2012. The study and a database of every school in the state can be found at www.Mackinac.org/CAP.

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