Detroit’s main school district has undergone dramatic change in recent months. A new superintendent, Nikolai Vitti, took over in May and has been shaking up the district — sending longtime administrators packing, recruiting high-level advisors he knew from his years running schools in Florida and moving educators out of the central office and into classrooms.
To get a sense of how the district’s staff has shifted since Vitti’s arrival, Chalkbeat requested, under the Freedom of Information Act, the full district payrolls for June 1 and October 1.
The two lists are both based on budgets that predate Vitti but they reflect changes he implemented as well as other factors like the 11 schools that returned to the main district following the dissolution in July of the state-run recovery district.
Here’s some of the things we found when we compared the two salary lists:
1. The return of the Education Achievement Authority added hundreds of teachers and administrators to the district payroll.
Number of employees, June: 6,125
Number of employees, October: 6,348
2. There were more people making $125,000 or more on October 1 than there were in June.
Number making more than $125,000, June: 29
Number making more than $125,000, October: 36
3. These were the five people making the highest salaries in June:
Nikolai Vitti, Superintendent, $295,000 Alycia Meriweather, Deputy Superintendent, $202,500 Marios Demetriou, Deputy Superintendent, Finance, $185,000 James Baker, Deputy Superintendent, Operations, $180,000 Carol Weaver, Executive Director, Office of Community Schools, $160,000 To read the full list of people making $125,000 or more in June and October, click here.
4. These five were making the highest salaries in October:
Nikolai Vitti, Superintendent, $295,000 Luis Solano, Chief Operating Officer, $195,000 Iranetta Wright, Deputy Superintendent, $190,000 Jenice Mitchell Ford, Lead General Counsel, $185,000 Alycia Meriweather, Deputy Superintendent, $180,000 To read the full list of people making $125,000 or more in June and October, click here.
5. There are fewer people in the Central office.
We made a list of all salaried employees on the payroll who were not assigned to a specific school and removed people like social workers and psychologists who work in multiple schools. Here’s how June and October compare:
Number of salaried district employees not assigned to a school, June: 237 Number of salaried district employees not assigned to a school, October: 197 Click HERE for a side-by-side comparison of employees by department in June and October.
6. As the number of teachers went up, average teacher salary went down.
A new contract negotiated with the city’s teachers union will give most Detroit teachers a pay raise in January so average teacher salaries could be on the way up soon. Over the summer, however, the influx of teachers from the Education Achievement Authority — and the retirements of highly-paid senior teachers — meant average teacher salaries went down overall between June and October. Former EAA teachers came into the main district with lower salaries because they were given no more than two years of experience credit when their schools returned to the main district. (Some took major pay cuts — others chose to leave).The current contract pays teachers between $35,682 and $66,264 based on experience and credentials. Heres how average teacher salaries changed between June and October: (Note: averages are based on people with the job title “teacher.” Educators or specialists with other titles were not included in the analysis).
Average teacher salary, June: $58,473 (2,317 teachers)
Average teacher salary, October: $56,885 (2,595 teachers)
7. The schools that had the highest and lowest average teacher salaries changed between June and October.
Click here to see average teacher salary in each building in June and October, side by side.
8. These schools had the district’s highest average teacher salaries in June and October:
|June highest average teacher salaries||Average salary||October highest average teacher salaries||Average salary|
|Nichols Elementary School||$63,532||Bennett Elementary School||$64,357|
|Bennett Elementary School||$62,980||Davis Aerospace||$63,449|
|Golightly Career/Tech Center||$62,920||Nichols Elementary||$63,293|
9. These schools had the district’s lowest average teacher salaries in June and October (Note: the four schools with the lowest salaries in October were all in the EAA):
|June lowest average teacher salaries||Average salary||October lowest average teacher salaries||Average salary|
|Ben Carson HS of Sci&Med||$51,081||Diann Banks Williamson Education Center||$45,510|
|Detroit Lions Academy||$50,938||Law Elementary||$44,098|
|Mason Elementary School||$48,537||Brenda Scott MS||$43,867|
|Diann Banks Williamson Education Center||$46,579||Bethune Academy||$41,480|
|Ofc College & Careers||$46,175||Central High School||$40,142|
10. There’s a lot to learn by looking at the full (sortable) list of what everyone — from principals to bus drivers to lunch aides — are making. We left off the names to protect employee privacy.
Read the full DPSCD payroll in June. Sort by salary, job title or job location.
Here’s the full DPSCD payroll in October. Sort by salary, job title or job location.