Detroit public schools try to lure top talent with $51,700 starting salary for new teachers

Detroit Public Schools Community District targets top teacher talent

DETROIT – Detroit public schools are trying to lure some of the top teaching talent in the country, offering a salary of more than $50,000 for starting instructors.

Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti said the Detroit Public Schools Community District is trying to make sure students have the best teachers and learning environments when they return to the classroom.

That comes down to money, benefits and the condition of classrooms, school officials said.

New teachers who choose DPSCD will start at the top of the class, with the district offering salary incentives that put a starting instructor at $51,700.

“This is a significant step forward for us,” Vitti said.

Paula Herbert, the president of the Michigan Education Association said while this doesn’t affect the teachers she represents, it’s “potentially a game changer.” She said it is a talent magnet across the nation.

Of the 3,000 existing teachers, with retirements and attrition, 200 or more incoming teachers are eligible, school officials said.

As the district faces budget cuts, Vitti said the district has been “moving our budget” to make this plan work.

Not everyone is happy with the offer. The president of the Detroit Federation of Teachers sent an open letter to its members saying it will fight for veteran instructors to also get financial increases.

Vitti said the district has also increased salaries for those teachers. He also said salaries for all instructors will be on the table in future contract negotiations.

Any recent graduates who want to work for DPSCD can attend a virtual career fair from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday at

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