News Story

Troy Teacher's Pay $106k, Challenges Legislator On Low Teacher Pay

‘What are we doing in Michigan about this, Senator?’

A Troy School District teacher who is paid $106,553 a year wrote a post on a community Facebook page suggesting that a Michigan state senator has not acted on claims of low teacher pay.

Troy teacher Debbie Bohm Rosenman linked to a Time magazine article claiming teachers around the country were underpaid.

The article cited a Michigan schoolteacher from the Carman-Ainsworth High School in Flint who was paid $78,054 a year last year and claimed it was “so difficult” to save any money.

“What are we doing in Michigan about this, Senator Knollenberg?” Rosenman wrote, calling out Republican Sen. Marty Knollenberg, who represents Troy.

Rosenman said in the post that she has more than 40 years of experience teaching. She is also the secretary of the Troy Education Association, the local teachers union. When someone posted her salary on the Facebook forum, Rosenman said the concern wasn’t about herself, but about those teachers (even in Troy, she claimed) that were in their early careers trying to make a living.

Younger teachers in Rosenman’s school district are doing quite well, however.

For example, one Troy teacher graduated from Michigan State University in 2009 and began working at Troy Athens High School during the 2011-12 school year. As a first-year teacher in the district, this chemistry teacher was paid $42,598. Five years later, the same chemistry teacher collected $67,101 in 2016-17, according to state and school district records. That’s a nearly $25,000-a-year increase over the five-year span. The teacher did get a master’s degree during the five years, which increases a teacher’s pay under most union contracts.

Another Troy science teacher was paid $49,132 in 2011-12 in his third year with the school district. Five years later, in the 2016-17 school year, he received a salary of $61,973, a $12,841 increase over the five years.

Rosenman didn't respond to an email seeking comment.

Salaries for this story came from Freedom of Information Act requests to the Troy School District as well as the State of Michigan. However, salaries for Troy School District teachers are also available online.

OpenTheBooks.com is a nonprofit that compiles salary data for nearly every public sector worker in Michigan as well as other states. OpenTheBooks puts in Freedom of Information Act requests to municipalities all across the U.S. and publishes the salaries on its website.