Annual Cost To Pay Teachers Same As Doctors $1,283 Per Person

Viral song’s pop politics only cool until you do the math

A music video called “I just sued the school system” by rapper Prince Ea has gone viral on social media with its own pop recipe for how to fix the nation’s education system.

In the video, Prince Ea states that teachers are underpaid. “Teachers should earn just as much as doctors,” he states.

ForTheRecord says: The belief that teachers should be paid much more than they are now is shared by many with a stake in making the school system better. Michael Flanagan, a former Michigan state superintendent of schools, once said that all teachers should make $100,000 or more.

The Great Lakes Education Project, an advocate for more school choice in Michigan, has taken a position that exceptional teachers whose students show strong academic growth should make six figure salaries.

But if the amount of training and skill needed to be a teacher is equivalent to that of a full medical doctor — which is what the suggestion they should get equivalent pay implies — then transitioning to this would come with a steep price tag.

The 101,025 teachers in Michigan earned an average $61,978 in 2014-15, the latest year for which data is available.

The average pay for family practitioners and pediatricians nationwide was $189,000 a year according to a 2012 survey done by Merritt Hawkins & Associates. That poll found family practitioners and pediatricians to be the lowest paid of all physicians.

Increasing the salary of all of Michigan’s public school teachers from $61,978 to $189,000 would cost every person in Michigan $1,283 annually, or $12.8 billion.

Nationwide, there are 3.1 million teachers in the U.S. making an average of $57,379 a year. It would take $408 billion to lift the salary of every public school teacher in the U.S. to $189,000 — that of the lowest paid doctors. That’s about $1,259 annually from every man, woman and child in the United States.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.