The State of Michigan has received a lot of press for its "failing education system" over the past couple of decades. Per pupil allottment and teacher salaries are discussed most often. When adjusted for inflation, Michigan teacher salaries have declined by 11.5% in comparison with 1999-2000 wages. Teacher salaries in the state of Michigan have seen the 4th greatest hit throughout the entire country, with IN, CO, and NC coming in just ahead. Michigan is just one of 12 states to cut funding by 7 percent or more per student over the past decade. To complicate the issue further, Michigan has decreased the income tax rates, making it more difficult to fund schools.
Decreased teacher salaries lead to many severe consequences. According to a New York Times article, 62% of teachers complete work outside of the classroom in order to make ends meet. This leads to additional stress and exhaustion placed on the hands of the teacher. Stress coupled with lack of district and parent support lead to 46% of teachers quitting before they reach their 5th year.
So how can we fix all of this? In an interesting study conducted by McKinsey, 68% of college students said they would consider teaching if beginning salaries started at $65,000 and rose to a minimum of $150,000.
Please use the following questions for consideration. I am interested to hear your thoughts!:
Would you consider teaching if wages increased?
Do you think it is possible to raise wages to this height?
How else could we provide teachers the support they need?