News Story

The Best-Paying Public School Districts In Michigan

Some teachers get $100k-plus per year

Several teachers in the Allen Park school district saw their salaries go from $73,000 in the 2014-15 school year to $85,700 in 2015-16. The increase brought them up to the highest step in the pay schedule prescribed by the district’s union contract.

That’s a 17.3 percent raise for these individuals, about a dozen of whom made the jump last year. The highest-paid teachers in the Wayne County district earn more than $102,000 annually.

Allen Park comes in at No. 5 on the Michigan Department of Education’s list of highest-paid teachers in the state.

Utica Community Schools had the highest-paid teachers on average in the state at $80,334. Utica was followed by Farmington Public Schools ($78,345), Walled Lake Consolidated Schools ($76,911), Warren Consolidated Schools ($76,465) and Allen Park ($76,359).

Statewide, the average Michigan public school teacher earned $61,875 in 2015-16. The average salary is down from $61,978 in the previous year, but that does not necessarily mean any teachers took a pay cut. More likely, it indicates workforce turnover, with higher-paid veterans retiring and being replaced by teachers who are just starting out.

The figures all come from the Michigan Department of Education’s annual report, “Bulletin 1014.” It is generally reliable but the process by which schools submit their salary information to the department does introduce some errors. In some cases, this is due to district-specific complications.

For example, the average salary for DeTour Area Schools is listed at $83,559, which would give it the second-highest salary in the state. But according to the state database, the highest-paid teacher in the district earned $80,361 in the 2015-16 year. The discrepancy happened because DeTour acts as the educational service provider for a charter school. The state’s formula for determining salaries attributes the charter school teachers’ salaries to the DeTour Area School teachers pay, which inflates the stated average pay of the district.

Farmington Schools had the highest average salary in 2014-15. Its teachers led last year’s Top Ten list at $83,909.