(AP) – Michigan’s declining teacher salaries are leaving many educators feeling undervalued and pushing some to leave the field.
MLive.com reports that new data from the National Education Association shows Michigan teachers’ average salary continued to decrease last year. The labor union says that contributed to a 12% decline over the last decade.
The Michigan Department of Education says the average salary has stagnated since its 2009 peak, at $63,024.
Greg Queen has been teaching in Michigan for nearly 30 years. He says he was unable to provide for his family after a decade of sluggish pay increases and rising contributions for health care and retirement benefits.
Queen says his wife had to leave retirement to make up the lost income.
He says every teacher in Michigan has a similar story.