EAST LANSING, Mich. -- New data from the National Education Association’s annual Rankings and Estimates report found average salary for teachers declined last year, continuing the 12% decline over the last decade when adjusted for inflation. Only Indiana, West Virginia and Wisconsin have had worse declines in teacher pay during this period.

According to the Michigan Education Association, stagnant and declining starting salaries for teachers and the increasing cost of college have become a deterrent for young people considering the profession. 

Starting teacher salaries in Michigan rank 32nd in the nation. Nationwide, 37% of districts have a starting salary of at least $40,000, yet in Michigan, only 12% of districts meet that threshold. Moreover, between 2008 and 2016, Michigan colleges of education experienced a 66% decrease in enrollment, which is the lowest level ever recorded.

“We are in the midst of a teacher shortage as many school districts across the state are having a hard time filling positions, and with declining teacher pay, that will only get worse,” said MEA President Paula Herbart. “All students deserve a high-quality education, and that begins with adequately funding our schools and reinvesting in our teachers and support professionals.”

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