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Report: MI Teacher Pay “Deflated” by Inflation

December 11, 2007

East Lansing, MI – Pay for public school teachers in Michigan isn't keeping up with inflation, and teachers are voting with their feet. A new report from the National Education Association says Michigan ranks next to the bottom compared to other states for matching teachers' pay rates to inflation -- only Alaska has done worse. Doug Pratt with the Michigan Education Association says the teachers haven't failed to take note.

"This is a big problem in terms of retaining quality teachers here in Michigan. There are better financial opportunities in other states, and our teachers are jumping at them."

Pratt says the report doesn't even take into account rising out-of-pocket costs for health care, and asks that the state legislature pay attention.

"The best investment we can make in a classroom is putting a highly qualified teacher there, and making sure that our students have individual attention."

Overall, the report says Michigan teachers have lost more than nine percent of their salaries' buying power because of inflation. The complete report is online, at www.nea.org.

Deborah Smith/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - MI