News Story

School Principal Faces Big Pay Cut If She Wins Seat In Legislature

From $120k plus benefits to around $83k

A story on the Michigan Education Association’s website featured union member Sheryl Kennedy’s decision to run for state representative as a Democrat in the 48th district, in Genesee County. Kennedy is a public school principal.

“I’m not going into politics because it’s the next step for me or because I’m looking to increase my salary or because I’m looking for anything other than the opportunity to serve and lead,” Kennedy told the MEA in its online magazine.

It’s a good thing Kennedy isn’t going into politics for the money, because if she wins the seat, she will take a pay cut. (This would not be the case if Kennedy retired from teaching and added the pension benefits for which she is eligible to the legislator pay.)

Kennedy earned $120,765 as a principal at Walled Lake Consolidated School District in 2016-17 (the most recent year data is available from the state). If she wins the election in November, she’ll earn $71,685 as a state representative while also getting $12,000 a year for expenses. If Kennedy retired, she would collect an estimated $54,344 annual pension.