News Story

Married Couple Paid $163,000 As Teachers; Complain About Pay

Ann Arbor teacher spoke at MEA rally in Lansing about her family’s salaries

The Michigan Education Associated recently quoted a public school teacher who said that her family experienced every salary cut over the past several years “times two” because she was married to a teacher who worked in the same district.

What the state’s largest teachers union didn’t report was that this teacher and her husband were, between the two of them, paid nearly $163,000 in total salary in 2017-18, with a very large increase over the past two years.

The June 26 feature on the MEA website mentioned an Ann Arbor Public Schools teacher, Jennifer Garcia. Her husband, Frank Garcia, teaches in the Ann Arbor district as well.

“Ann Arbor health and physical education teacher Jennifer Garcia told several Senate staff members that being married to an educator means her household has experienced every salary cut and increase to health premiums over the past several years times two,” the MEA wrote.

“This state still has not recovered from the $1.4 billion in cuts to education from 2010,” Garcia said, according to the MEA article. “It’s beyond urgent. We passed urgent a while ago.”

Garcia’s claim that state funding for education has been cut since 2010 is not accurate. State funding has increased, according to figures from the Senate Fiscal Agency. Also, the total salary for both these Ann Arbor teachers rose significantly in the two years from 2015-16 to 2017-18.

Frank Garcia’s total pay increased from $64,430 in 2015-16 to $82,357 in 2017-18. His total compensation included extra pay for coaching a district sports team.

Jennifer Garcia’s total compensation increased from $71,223 in 2015-16 to $80,536 in 2017-18. This amount included extra money she received for accepting extra duties.

Both teachers’ salary information come from the state’s Office of Retirement Services, which tracks total salaries for pension purposes. Michigan Capitol Confidential files an annual Freedom of Information Act request with this office for data on public school salaries.