Michigan's Largest School Districts Breaking Teacher Pay Law

12 of 20 ignore law completely, another 6 pay lip service

As many as 18 of Michigan’s 20 largest public school districts may be violating the law by not giving their best teachers a “significant” merit pay opportunity, according to documents received in response to Freedom of Information Act requests.

Lansing, Waterford and Walled Lake do not have a merit pay system. Neither do Utica, Traverse City, Farmington, L’Anse Creuse, Warren, Grand Rapids, Livonia, Plymouth-Canton or Rochester. Ann Arbor, Troy, Wayne-Westland, Forest Hills, Dearborn and Chippewa Valley offer minimal amounts. For example, Chippewa Valley says it offers a $75 bonus if the teacher is accredited.

The 2010 law in question requires each school district to “implement and maintain a method of compensation for its teachers and school administrators that includes job performance and job accomplishments as a significant factor in determining compensation and additional compensation.”

Only Kalamazoo and Detroit unambiguously meet the law’s requirement. Detroit offers merit pay of up to $5,000 per year. Kalamazoo offers merit pay up of to $1,600.

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