News Story

Earning $100k Or More In Detroit Schools

110 employees reach six-figure payouts

Over 100 people employed by the Detroit Public Schools Community District — 110, to be precise — were paid $100,000 or more in the 2017-18 fiscal year. The district had 6,988 employees that year.

Most of the $100,000-plus employees held administrative positions such as principals and assistant principals. But the list also included one teacher and two police officers. The combined salaries of the $100k club amount to $13.3 million.

The Michigan Office of Retirement Services provided the information in response to a request under the state’s Freedom of Information Act for the salaries of everyone who is enrolled in the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System. The salaries are only one part of an individual’s gross pay, which is what ORS figures actually disclose.

So for example, one Detroit teacher earned $100,057 in 2017-18. But the response to a separate FOIA submitted to the Detroit school district indicated that this 7th- and 8th-grade teacher’s base salary was $84,505. The extra $15,552 included in gross pay figures was due likely, in part, to the teacher being listed as a program director.

There are numerous ways teachers can earn extra money by taking on additional responsibilities. That teacher’s gross pay may also include merit pay, which the district offers, up to $5,000.

The highest-paid Detroit employee was Superintendent Nikolai Vitti who was paid $295,000, making him the only employee to collect more than $200,000 that year.

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy has a salary database available online.