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Posted on Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 6:15 a.m.

Number of employees earning $100,000 in annual pay declines at Ann Arbor schools

By Danielle Arndt

A total of 46 Ann Arbor Public Schools employees earned more than $100,000 in 2012, according to a new compensation report.

The total has steadily declined since 2009, when 88 employees, or 4 percent of the district's staff, earned six figures.


The latest salary and compensation list of employees making $100,000-plus, part of the district's transparency reporting requirements, was released Friday by Ann Arbor Public Schools' administration. file photo

Looking at employees who make $100,000 is even more noteworthy this year in light of Michigan Superintendent Mike Flanagan proposing last month that bumping up teachers' salaries to $100,000 could help attract more qualified math and science students to consider careers in education. He said such a move would remedy the state's shortage of teachers in these subjects.

School districts are required to publish annual wage, benefit and compensation reports on their websites as part of the state's mandated transparency reporting. Information on employees making more than $100,000 in annual pay is taken from employees' W2 tax forms.

The report currently on the district's website is outdated and based on 2010 W2 tax information. requested and obtained the most recent two reports from AAPS.

District spokeswoman Liz Margolis said retirements replaced by new hires at a lower rate have contributed to fewer people being on $100,000-plus employees list. In 2010, the district had 59 employees make the list. In 2011, that number was 51.

The data on the list is by position and does not include the employees' names. Margolis said the salary and total compensation data on the transparency report can vary slightly from year to year, even for the same position, based on how many pay periods there are in the annual calendar.

The number of payroll dates each year can increase or decrease by one or two, Margolis said. Another reason is that employee contracts typically are set for the district's fiscal year or academic year and W2 tax information is collected for the calendar year, she added.

The 2012 salary and compensation report shows Superintendent Patricia Green received $235,949 in wages last year from the Ann Arbor Public Schools. Her contractual base pay is $245,000.

The report also states Green received a total compensation package of $308,433. Her package included $10,247 paid in Federal Insurance Contribution Act taxes, $58,244 contributed toward her pension, $2,912 in life insurance and $1,080 in long-term disability benefits.

Green waived medical insurance when hired, but the amount of compensation employees received in health, dental and vision benefits also is listed on the report.

Employees on the list:

  • Two teachers, who make $102,717 and $108,771. In 2010, there were four teachers on the list.
  • Five assistant high school principals and one of whom also is an athletic director, earning $100,132 to $120,188.
  • Two assistant middle school principals, compared with three last year. These rates are $101,438 and $104,424.
  • Five middle school principals. Those salaries range from $100,524 to $115,137.
  • Five high school principals, earning $107,453, $108,121, $123,103 and $124,000.
  • 15 elementary principals. Those salaries range from $101,034 to $107,559. This total compares with 19 elementary principals in 2010.
  • A preschool principal making $100,284.
  • A director of finance, $102,369, and director of human resources, $101,165.
  • The director of Community Education and Recreation whose rate is listed at $104,180. The district hired a new director in July so the total for the position represents two people paid last year. Jenna Bacolor replaced Sara Aeschbach who retired after 31 years with AAPS. In 2011, the position was listed as $106,645. Bacolor's contractual salary is $96,975, according to previous reports.
  • The assistant director of the Student Intervention and Support Services department. That rate is $120,000. This position was listed at $114,785 on the 2011 report.
  • Executive director of physical properties at $117,710 last year, compared with $119,117 in 2011.

  • Three assistant superintendents, earning $127,221, $118,108 and $108,515.
  • Three deputy superintendents. Those rates are $143,600, $136,497 and $136,005.
  • There was a recreation and education coordinator listed at $110,692 on the 2011 report that did not appear on the 2012 list.

    The district's operating budget for the 2012-13 school year is $188.5 million, up from $183.5 million in 2011-12. The Board of Education will need to cut an estimated $17 million to $20 million from the 2013-14 budget. One of the possible reductions on the table is a 1-percent across-the-board salary decrease for the district's employees.

    Margolis said AAPS employs about 3,000 full-time and part-time employees.

    The 46 employees in 2012 that made more than $100,000 have total wages of about $5.91 million; this is down about $1 million in wages from the 59 employees in 2010, whose salaries totaled about $6.9 million.

    The proposed 1 percent salary reduction for 2013-14 is expected to save AAPS another $1.3 million and likely would cause the number of employees on the $100,000-plus list to decline again.

    Danielle Arndt covers K-12 education for Follow her on Twitter @DanielleArndt or email her at



    Thu, Feb 28, 2013 : 2:22 p.m.

    I was shocked to find out there is only ONE science student teacher at UM this year. I guess the message of most of the comenters is getting through. Our top university can't convince our best and brightest to to go into teaching. The students see the writing on the wall . They will be devalued and mocked for the work they do. Your comments are working.


    Thu, Feb 28, 2013 : 1:49 a.m.

    $58,244 toward her pension? $58,244? Can I say that enough times? Posters scream at the city of Ann Arbor pensions. They are nothing compared to this. This is taxpayer money, too. I find this outrageous.


    Thu, Feb 28, 2013 : 4:33 a.m.

    Sorry your job doesn't pay well. We know who to blame.


    Thu, Feb 28, 2013 : 1:47 a.m.

    @sHa, ask those retired bus drivers and custodians how much money is taken out of those retirement checks to pay for those benefits and then ask them how much their co pays are at the doctors. Current public school employees have no choice about 3% taken out of their checks to help fund the retirees health benefits.


    Thu, Feb 28, 2013 : 2:21 a.m.

    I would imagine that very few, if any, public school employees have declared bankruptcy because of medical bills. Everyone in the private sector should be so lucky.


    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 10:51 p.m.

    Last I heard, there are three Assistant Directors at SISS. Do each of them make $120,000? Also, is the Director of SISS included in the list of assistant or deputy Superintendents?


    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 9:42 p.m.

    Cut the fat from the top and leave us noon-hour supervisors alone!


    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 9:03 p.m.

    There isn't a need for all the overhead, surely. I'd love to know what they do that they need so many people. I'm in education, and this seems ridiculous. I'd be more than upset if I worked in this district.


    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 8:20 p.m.

    just asking for the sake of discussion, what do these folks do? Three assistant superintendents, earning $127,221, $118,108 and $108,515. Three deputy superintendents. Those rates are $143,600, $136,497 and $136,005.


    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 7:42 p.m.

    Honestly, I don't know who would go into teaching these days with the vitriol of the public and politicians toward teachers. When Pfizer shut down, I don't think people were outraged over the huge salaries and generous benefits there - those folks just got sympathy. We got applications from administrative assistants making more than the director of our department makes. I've also seen friends in the private sector with huge bonuses in some years, more than 1/2 of my salary. It has always been the case that private and public sector jobs have different risks and advantages. In lean times, public sector jobs may be more secure; in boom times, private sector jobs offer a chance at huge financial pay-offs. Let's unleash the public's scrutiny and fury at a set of private sector jobs for once. But gee, I guess that would be hard since they get to hide their salaries and benefits and just complain about everyone else's.

    Jay Thomas

    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 5:59 p.m.

    Even a 1% cut would give some people heart attacks!

    say it plain

    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 5:25 p.m.

    Thanks for that latest info, Not surprising that salaries are generally Margolis said, the moves to get high-paid staff (at least among the instructional staff) to take retirement likely had its effect here. But The high salaries of administrators and the general decline of pay at AAPS play against AA teachers accepting a big cut this time around in their negotiations with the district, no? Especially with the feeling that the administration budget includes a giant salary, raises to "keep" staff, and so on. By the logic of some of the BOE (not all...some voted against the $65K increase for the new Super and presumably all expected Green to abide by their decision to not hire the extra administrator she hired?), instructional staff salary should be mostly left untouched (if not raised!), because we want to retain the best. The scene is set for some "interesting" times as we try and figure out how to cut $18 million from AAPS budgets. I hope you don't have to FOIA them ...isn't it getting a little late for info about their proposals to make initial appearance into the public realm? In my attempt at finding more about Green at her previous post, I came across a report that she had (somewhat controversially, hard to tell from the limited info) ordered a "hiring freeze" to address budget issues. We're so beyond hiring freezes in AAPS of course, but it's interesting that one of her first actions here was to overturn such an attempt from the BOE by hiring another 'helper' for herself!


    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 4:28 p.m.

    Funny how you report on what traditional public school employees earn but the curtain has yet to be pulled back on the charters, their CEO's and the rate of pay for the teachers that actually work with the students. When are these facts going to put out there for public display.


    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 5:45 p.m.

    Charter schools are PSA's: PUBLIC SCHOOL ACADEMIES. They provide transparency just as all other public schools. Anyone with experience in Charter's will tell you that their rate of pay for teachers and admin is much lower than that of their public school counterparts but, see for yourself: or, you can visit the website of any PSA and documents, as with traditional public schools, are linked on the websites. No curtains.


    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 2:50 p.m.

    Three assistant superintendents, earning $127,221, $118,108 and $108,515. Three deputy superintendents. Those rates are $143,600, $136,497 and $136,005. I need help with job descriptions for these two positions. On the surface, if Mrs. Green has six underlings, then I can see the accusation that she works only four days a week.

    say it plain

    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 5:08 p.m.

    That *is* a whole lot of underlings for a district with only 16K students! And one of those assistants even the *Board* told her not to hire but she did it, right? Maybe we should start reporting her salary as X+100K because the Board thought she could get along fine without the extra person doing her, or the other assistants' workload, but she decided to grab that 'perk' anyhow?! Imagine if teaching staff, many of whom would *love* to have an extra hand in the classroom or some extra 'recovery' staff to help them help the kids who are struggling, could hire without Board approval? That'd be cool, and likely help individual students a lot more than an extra report writer or body to go to meetings in place of the Super, no?

    Dog Guy

    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 2:05 p.m.

    In so very many ways teaching beats working for a living. Yet none of my children have shown the slightest interest in following me into the Ichabod Crane ranks. They have failed to comprehend the benefits of benefits.

    Rob Pollard

    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 3:36 p.m.

    Perhaps b/c they realize those benefits are no longer there (or soon won't be). It's not the 1980s or 1990s anymore. New teachers now pay 20% (or more) of their health care, reduced pensions, etc.


    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 2 p.m.

    Those salaries may not be just teaching either. Many of these employees coach or do other school related things that add into there overall salary. If a teacher coaches three different sports throughout the year, that is a significant boost to overall salary. But the number of teachers on that list is small, the high number of administrators on the list isn't shocking. But who actually works with kids everyday of the school year, does conferences with parents, 3-4 report cards a year, and is in charge of communicates with families regularly? The ones not making over 100,000. So who really does the work?


    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 9:27 p.m.

    Here are the teacher salaries for Ann Arbor: DEGREE BA BA + 30 MA MA + 30 ED. SPEC. BA + PH.D. BA + 60W/MA 90/MA 2 MA $39,540 $43,053 $44,539 $45,934 $47,154 $48,476 $49,919 $42,199 $46,019 $47,871 $49,277 $50,513 $51,951 $53,432 $44,815 $48,566 $51,235 $52,667 $53,978 $55,453 $57,045 $47,393 $51,787 $54,678 $56,164 $57,554 $59,045 $60,738 $50,147 $55,448 $58,196 $59,799 $61,210 $62,765 $64,457 $52,901 $58,340 $61,873 $63,476 $64,930 $66,511 $68,310 $55,697 $62,080 $65,556 $67,285 $68,734 $70,352 $72,199 $58,615 $65,428 $69,275 $71,249 $72,809 $74,624 $76,704 $61,566 $68,745 $73,053 $75,213 $76,815 $78,948 $81,124 $65,662 $73,451 $78,333 $80,025 $81,760 $83,777 $86,053 $66,318 $74,186 $79,116 $80,825 $82,578 $84,614 $86,913 $66,975 $74,920 $79,899 $81,626 $83,395 $85,452 $87,774 Don't see $100K on this salary schedule. Teach for 10 years after you get a PhD, earn $87.7K. And some call this a gravy train.

    Chester Drawers

    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 4:19 p.m.

    AMOC: Could you please let us know specifically which of our AAPS high school Athletic Directors also coaches in the district?


    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 4:04 p.m.

    Local - Those amounts listed are pure salary, not the "points" money for supervision of extracurricular actvities that can double a teacher/coach's total compensation. Because "public posting" of salaries is a legal requirement, AAPS and many other districts pay those amounts on separate contracts and report to the IRS on Form 1099s. The only salaries that include any "coaching" time are those athletic director/assistant principal positions. And our high school ADs collect very significant additional compnesation from their work as coaches.


    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 1:42 p.m.

    Dearest What should these positions earn? Your regular articles on the top salaries clearly show that you find them to be too high. Given the frequency of coverage, could your editorial board should at some point identify what it considers to be the appropriate salary level for these positions?


    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 8:46 p.m.

    Gonavy: Don't cop out behind a whatever the market will bear statement. You obviously have an opinion since you think teachers are overpaid. Given that teachers must have advanced degrees to maintain their position, they are required to show that their students are learning through the results of standarized tests, must be able to herd cats, and not let out their frustrations at work when "Johnny" refuses to follow directions while telling-off the teacher in the classroom or providing a 1-finger salute, should they be earning less than $50k, $30k, $20K? Or should it be more? Name a price you think the teachers of your children should earn.


    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 3:37 p.m.

    @ Navy: Does 1% of the U.S. population do 40% of the work? I'm asking, because that's what your 'free markets lead to fair salaries' answer would indicate. My point is that market forces do not lead to fair wages. The market leads to a situation where 4 of the 10 wealthiest people in the nation, with a combined net worth of $100 billion, are in the Wal-Mart family. Meanwhile, countless Wal-Mart employees are paid close to minimum wage and receive no/few benefits. Is that fair? It's the free market, supply-and-demand model you advocate in action. If those Wal-Mart employees unionized and got decent wages and benefits, would that be a distortion of what is fair, as you stated?


    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 3:08 p.m.

    @northside - I'll answer your question here, as well as the one you posted in reply to me above. It is not for me, or you, to decide what somebody "should" earn. That's what markets are for. With supply and demand unrestrained by artificial constraints, markets are highly efficient in determining what an individual "should" be paid, and what is "fair" when factors such as scarcity and quality are taken into consideration. Unfortunately, we cannot arrive at such a determination here, due to the imposition of artificial supply constraints through collectivism. Since we know from basic economics that floors and ceilings - existing either on the supply or demand side of the equation - distort efficient pricing systems, we can say with certainty that the imposition of collective bargaining upon consumers of this "good" (education) has been distorted compensation in a way that precludes accurate measurement. It's easy for me to say what I "should" be paid - because I work in private industry, and compete freely against other individuals with similar education and skills to provide my services for compensation that has been mutually agreed upon. I will not pretend to "know" what an individual in a constrained environment "should" be paid, because as an individual neither you nor I are smart enough to outsmart the collective decisions of millions of free-market participants voting individually with their checkbooks.


    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 1:41 p.m.

    A great piece of journalism would be a comparison of pay and benefits of educators and educational leaders in public schools with those in charter schools. Another quality piece would be a comparison of salaries of those leading schools and those that lead business enterprises of similar size, budget, and impact.


    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 1:40 p.m.

    Perhaps can delve further into these numbers and include non-cash compensation, which is not an insignificant number and can boost total compensation immensely. Counting lifetime healthcare benefits, and the present value of full pensions might shock many in the private sector who are not aware of exactly how much they're on the hook, over time, for many of these employees.


    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 9:55 p.m.

    And I did not make anything up, Rob Pollard. I actually lifted a quote from the article you posted: "Turnover is highest at the neediest schools". Maybe you should re-read the source that you posted:


    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 9:47 p.m.

    Rob Pollard, from one of your sources: "The biggest issue, (for teachers dropping out), may be a lack preparedness for teaching". Hmmmmmm...

    Rob Pollard

    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 6:33 p.m.

    Regarding easier ways to make money/benefits than teaching, why do you think the turnover is so high at 50%: b/c people have a cake job with fat benefits but are too dumb to realize it? Or the more likely explanation that many realize the grass is greener elsewhere? Becoming a teacher means you have a degree, often advanced. Those tend to be the type of people who, relatively-speaking, can find other opportunities, even in this less than robust job market. Or maybe you think all these people are leaving so they sit at home unemployed. Take your pick.

    Rob Pollard

    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 6:21 p.m.

    sHa, actually you are wrong. It is not at the "neediest" schools. You just made that up. It is 40-50% overall, everywhere. "Between 40% to 50% of those entering the profession now leave within five years in what Ingersoll (from the University of Pennsylvania) calls a "constant replenishment of beginners." The end result: a more than threefold increase in the sheer number of inexperienced teachers in U.S. schools. In the 1987-88 school year, Ingersoll estimates, there were about 65,000 first-year teachers; by 2007-08, the number had grown to more than 200,000. " From here: "Nationally, about 14 percent of teachers leave after their first year and about half will be gone within five years, " Notice the words "nationally" and "U.S." - nothing about the "neediest" or "poorest" districts.


    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 3:56 p.m.

    No, I'm not joking, Rob Polllard. You mentioned two articles about high teacher turnover, which turns out to be at the "neediest" schools in the US; i.e., not affecting educators in our area schools, who enjoy some of the nation's best educator salaries and lifetime benefits. Please explain in detail the "much easier ways" to obtain the money/benefits of school employees. I know hundreds, if not thousands, of job applicants who would like to hear how that can be done.

    Adam Schubatis

    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 3:52 p.m.

    Forgot my source:

    Adam Schubatis

    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 3:51 p.m.

    For every $100,000 AAPS pays in salary, it spends about $16,100 on "employee insurance benefits", about $25,000 on "FICA/Retirement/Unemployment/WC", and about $1,600 on "Other Personnel Expenditures." So for every $100,000 AAPS pays in salary, it spends about $42,700 on non-salary compensation. Does anybody know how this compares to typical private sector benefits?

    Rob Pollard

    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 3:32 p.m.

    sHa, you're joking right? You somehow think 'many educators don't jump ship'? Half of teachers leave within 5 years of starting! For teachers overall, 1 in 6 leave every year. There is ship jumping all over the place. If you go to a good school, within 5-10 years, you can readily make more than the top of the scale in salary for a teacher, no matter how good or how long they've been there. Benefits are perhaps worth a bit less, but that's far outstripped by the $10k+ more in salary. There are far easier ways to make money/benefits, if that's your motivation, than being a teacher. Job satisfaction is at an all-time low.


    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 2:01 p.m.

    Is it any wonder that you don't find many educators "jumping ship" to work in the private sector? An accurate comparison of public and private sector employment cannot be made without including non-cash compensation.

    Robert A. Booey

    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 1:37 p.m.

    FYI - As of July 2012 the Director of Community Education & Recreation is no longer paid out of the AAPS general fund. Her salary is paid out of fees collected by Rec & Ed programs. This has been the case for every other Rec & Ed staff member for the last 7 plus years as well.


    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 12:55 p.m.

    Finally, a true "feel good story" in •A preschool principal making $100,284. YOU have got to be kidding me! No wait. He/she must be very strong in math & science and they are making sure the little ones are getting a jump start on their MEAP Prep!


    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 9:15 p.m.

    There are teachers in the building though, right? And just to be frank, as I work in public schools, the director is not the one interacting with the special needs students, I assure you. This position is probably not essential at all.


    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 4:48 p.m.

    wondering - So since FAILED to report that this school has special needs students, and that it also enrolled 250+ students, perhaps you should direct your whining at the author of this article. I have NO way of knowing what you just shared, unless an AUTHOR does her due dillegence and PROVIDES such information.


    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 1:10 p.m.

    Please go take a look at the Preschool. There are about 250 preschoolers who will entering kindergarten in the fall from the preschool. There are a lot of students at the preschool with significant disabilities. This is not a preschool that serves 20 students. It is a nationally recognized preschool.


    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 12:40 p.m.

    And those salary figures don't include their top-of-the-line benefit packages, i.e. health insurance for life, pensions, etc.


    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 11:52 p.m.

    I actually know a number of public school retired bus drivers, secretaries, and custodians who have lifetime healthcare benefits. Any comment on that?


    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 11:39 p.m.

    sHa - I know plenty of private sector workers with benefits comparable to those offered in the public sector. That being said, I know plenty who have lesser benefits or no benefits at all. What I have observed as the difference are levels of education and/or experience and expertise.


    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 10:44 p.m.

    Most educators in Ann Arbor who have "top of the line" benefit packages pay dearly for them. The only health insurance package that they don't pay for is a very minimal package, appropriate for younger teachers who have fewer health problems.


    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 1:53 p.m.

    Yes, SpamBot1, Ann Arbor Educator benefits are a very nice model, but so far I haven't noticed that those are "helping" anyone in the private sector. If so, maybe you could point that out to the rest of us. Also, it is about time that our legislators are addressing the inequities between public and private workers, don't you think? Tax payers can no longer afford gold-plated lifetime benefits for educators.


    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 1:30 p.m.

    Your tired line forgets that the mackinaw center, the most righteous of right wing think tanks, called Ann Arbor's health benefits package a model for the rest of the state. You also forgot to mention that the current legislators have passed bill after angry bill, each aimed specifically to transfer the cost of benefits from the school to educators.


    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 12:34 p.m., the favorite newspaper of the Mackinaw Center All these salaries show is that a few people in the schools, mostly those in management positions, break $100,000/year. Many of my friends who work in the corporate sector laugh at that money. One started at $125,000/year her FIRST year out of Michigan's MBA program.

    Danielle Arndt

    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 8:54 p.m.

    northside, thanks for your replies and thanks, too, Rob for weighing in. I appreciate the suggestions and do think you have brought up some interesting observations. In yesterday's story, the salary range of teachers at AAPS is included, so the low end as well as the high end. But what I do think would be interesting would be to somehow be able to say what percent of employees are in the low range, what percent are in the middle range and what percent are in the high range. Or being able to somehow qualify how salaries and the full 80 percent of the budget that makes up employee costs is spread out among the different categories of staff. Obviously the $5.91 million in combined salaries that the individuals on this $100,000-plus list make is only about 2.7 percent of the district's $188.5 million general fund budget. So thanks for giving me another great story idea!


    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 7:25 p.m.

    Thanks, Rob. You're right the the adjunct salaries at EMU or WCC could easily be expanded into a "Bottom 100" list. There are numerous adjunct faculty at the same, low-paid level. Danielle, to restate what I said above,'s coverage contributes to people having an inflated sense of what those in the public sector earn. The results of this can be seen in comments on the site. Many people seem to think that all public sector employees have high salaries, or that you can get rich by going into K-12 teaching. Given that the state's average salary for K-12 teachers is $55,000, no one goes into teaching to get rich. I'm not objecting to stories being run about salaries at the top. I find Patricia Green's salary to be as troubling as anyone else does. I just think what's left out of the salary articles that runs on a regular basis gives people a distorted sense of things, and that's in sync with the goals of the Mackinac Center.

    Rob Pollard

    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 6:14 p.m.

    I'd like to commend northside and Danielle's discussion here. Make the comments section useful. I'd also like to second the idea for a ""Bottom 20 Adjunct Salaries at EMU" (really, I think you could easily do a bottom 100" article). It could be at UM or WCC also. I briefly looked at doing some adjunct work at one of the campuses and when I looked at how much you get paid vs how much time you had to put in, I realized there were better things to pursue for someone with an advanced degree.


    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 6:08 p.m.

    Thanks for the replies, Danielle. While I've been quite critical of at times, it speaks well for the paper that reporters take the time to read and reply to comments. The Mackinac Center is a far right think tank that favors drastic reduction of government, including the privatization of public education. routinely using it as a source is a big reason why I've been critical of the paper. That describes it in neutral terms ("free market think tank" and, hey, who could object to the free market) is also problematic. Could the paper at least identify Mackinaw's clear political leanings and objectives when using it as a source? Part of Mackinac's agenda is to demonize public sector salaries, and they do so by shining a light on ones that are unreasonably high (such as Patricia Green's). The problem? Teachers in Michigan earn, on average, around $55,000 a year. tends to follow Mackinac's agenda of not giving attention to middle and low salaries/wages, just the top ones. Because of's reporting, the community is aware of the highest salaries at places like UM, EMU, and the Ann Arbor public schools. In and of itself, that's fair. What people aren't well informed of, and should be if you are going to run regular articles on salaries, are the middle and low-rung ones. Let's see a "Bottom 20 Adjunct Salaries at EMU" article to balance out the articles about the top.

    Danielle Arndt

    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 4:33 p.m.

    Also, northside, I think you raise a valid point in your second post on this thread. There is a lot of criticism and discussion about educator salaries taking place not only on this site, but in education circles around the state. And yet, aside from the state superintendent saying teachers should earn $100,000, there is not much being proposed about what educator salaries should look like. I do think that is the shift in the conversation that needs to take place statewide.

    Danielle Arndt

    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 4:24 p.m.

    northside, I'm not sure I understand the Mackinac Center reference here. This information, as explained in the article, is from the district's transparency reporting as mandated by the state. The district issues this information annually and we write about it, in the interest of showing taxpayers where some of their money goes. About 80 percent of a district's general fund budget goes toward personnel. The subject of school employee salaries is an area of interest in much of the education reform the state of Michigan has been contemplating. And the Ann Arbor district has said it needs to cut salaries this year to balance the budget. All good reasons, in our opinion, to keep the salary discussions going.


    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 1:44 p.m.

    @ Navy: OK, you've at least provided an outline for how you think educators should be paid. Now answer SpamBot's question: what should a third grade teacher make? An elementary school principal? There's a lot of criticism of educator salaries on this board, much of it driven by the paper's coverage. But no one ever says what they think these positions should earn.


    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 1:42 p.m.

    @SpamBot1: A teacher "should" earn a wage that's reflective of their skills and capabilities. What teachers *actually* make is an artificial wage, set through collective bargaining, which reflects only the seniority of the employee. In those situations, where the gun is figuratively at my head during the negotiating process, I have no problem with offering and advocating compensation as low as humanly possible.


    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 1:25 p.m.

    The best response to all those angry that educators are making a fair wage is to ask them the simple question "What should a teacher make?"


    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 12:05 p.m.

    Not bad for part time work.


    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 10:44 p.m.

    You just totally made my day. Apparently you don't have kids in A2 Schools. Dan (or Mr.) Ezekial knows about classes of 30+ students. He's well respected and knows when to use an appropriately sarcastic comment!


    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 8:34 p.m.

    Walker: It may look like part time work, but teachers put in more hours every year than those only working 40 hours per week. It's more like a 50 - 55 hour week full time job. Ezekiel: It's not a gravy train. It's an extremely stressful job managing 30 + kids in a classroom each hour, keeping their attention, inspiring them to learn, disciplining those that need it, meeting State requirements, putting up with less than understanding parents, all the while keeping your cool. Although you are probably not a manager, maybe you realize managers don't have as much responsibility in private industry nor government positions at such low pay levels. If you all think we should be paying a lot less for teachers, just think of the kind of teachers we will have. And then say bye bye to future generations knowing much of anything.


    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 3 p.m.

    @ kay, is your daughter's company private or public? It matters who's footing the bill.

    tom swift jr.

    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 3 p.m.

    Good lord, what a bunch of children... discuss this like adults or turn the computer off.

    Dan Ezekiel

    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 2:27 p.m.

    The last I heard, applications are still being accepted at education schools. Come join the gravy train!


    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 2:03 p.m.

    I am sure you do not have two masters degree and been in your position for 27 years. My daughter only has a bachelors degree but make 159,000 a year plus travel and food expenses, and vacation time whenever she chooses------why not send nasty note to her and her company--it's easier to just stay on the teacher bashing wagon. Sorry you didn't get a high paying job--that is your fault-so don't get mad at me!


    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 1:46 p.m.

    Yes, that has been "refuted by proclamation" - haven't you heard?


    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 1:23 p.m.

    What a snarky and uninformed response.


    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 11:56 a.m.

    Instead of an across-the-board 1% cut, maybe we could have a 5% cut for those making the most, 1% for everyone else (except bus drivers and custodians who took a big hit last year), and spare the new teachers at the very bottom of the scale.


    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 9:18 p.m.

    Similar scaled cuts are done by businesses with those at higher salary levels taking a larger percentage cut than those at lower level positions. I would challenge AAPS to consider a similar plan.


    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 11:49 a.m.

    "Superintendent Mike Flanagan proposing last month that bumping up teachers' salaries to $100,000 could help attract more qualified math and science students to consider careers in education." Well, maybe they could just pay the math and science teachers more if they are having trouble getting those. Oh, yeah, MEA. Never mind.


    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 11:43 a.m.

    Three assistant superintendents, and three deputy one highly paid top superintendent: close to $1 million JUST for the superintendent positions. If AAPS wants to cut costs, they should either cut one or more of these positions. How many superintendents do you need?

    Paula Gardner

    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 11:39 a.m.

    I made a mistake while setting up our daily headlines newsletter today: This story was the subject line, but wasn't included in the newsletter. So if you had to hunt for it on the site, I apologize.

    Paula Gardner

    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 3:31 p.m.

    I have no issues with attentive readers! :)


    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 12:53 p.m.

    Way to cover before some nut like me jumps on you with both feet! LOL As always, thanks. Cash