S.B.5 Would Have Saved $1.3 Billion in 2010: Yet the OEA says it’s teachers will suffer when the average teacher makes 55K?

The picture here refers to a report from the Columbus Dispatch which cites that if S.B.5 had been enacted during 2010, the state would have saved 1.3 Billion dollars. That’s a massive figure!

Darryl Parks of 700 WLW talks about the savings S.B.5 would have saved, and addresses the hypocrites within the Tea Party Movement that are now complaining about some of the budget cuts they pushed for.

You can see the whole article for the Columbus Dispatch here.

Most of the savings are not a direct savings to the state, but an indirect cost imposed by “step increases” which is the primary reason I am supporting S.B.5. At Lakota, as I’ve stated many times, the average teacher makes over 62K . When you study the reason Lakota, Mason, Lebanon and all the other large Southern Ohio districts need a levy passed, it is because the districts have to live up to their rising costs imposed by the “step increases” required by state law. So when I asked the question, “why can’t Lakota live within their 160 million dollar budget? Why can’t Lakota cut salaries since they are obviously inflated, and leave busing alone, keep the sports, keep the electives, don’t lay off teachers?” The response was, “we can’t, because we are obligated by state law.”

Step increases are the hidden villain here. I calculated that if the teachers at Lakota took a 30% reduction, which is reasonable considering what they are making, it would save Lakota $29 million a year which would mean the district wouldn’t have to ask for more money in an operating levy.

I’ve written about this elsewhere and if you want to see the other article click the link. All businesses whether they are service oriented or manufacturing oriented have a responsibility to keep their costs in line. One way that businesses do that is to use the 10-80-10 rule as it’s applied to labor. That rule states that 10% of your workforce will be your typical “top” performers, and they will get the most dramatic increases, 4% to 15% depending on the situation. 80% of your workers are average, and will typically get a standard 2% to 3% increase, otherwise considered a “cost of living” increase. And of course every place of business has approximately 10% that are poor performers and they won’t get an increase of any kind. Why? Because those bottom 10% you want to look for another job, and you want them to leave so you don’t have to pay them. It gives you a chance to hire somebody that might want to compete for the top 10% percentile. If you manage things correctly, your bottom 10% are the kind of people who your competition is hiring at the middle 80%, and you want that so you can maintain a competitive edge.

That’s the reason the teachers are protesting. Because their union knows the scam that they’ve been playing against the tax payer is falling apart now that their cost to society has reached a breaking point. Their strategy all along was to continue to push for higher taxes to pay for their scam and they had full confidence based on their track record over the last two decades that they’d achieve that goal. Now, compare what you’ve learned here about step increases, and the imposed cost to the tax payer, and the amount of money teachers are making on average, and then look at Patricia Frost-Brooks, President of the OEA, comments in that same mentioned article from The Dispatch.

“If you lower the wages, and your health insurance goes up, then what does that do to a family? How is the family going to sustain their livelihood?” said Patricia Frost-Brooks, president of the Ohio Education Association.

What planet is she living on? Doesn’t she realize that her teachers are making A LOT more money than the average worker in Ohio? You can read more about Patricia’s view of the world at http://www.progressohio.org/blog/2010/09/lets-revitalize-ohio-not-go-backwards-by-ohio-education-association-president-patricia-frost-brooks.html Notice she doesn’t mention much about kids in that article. Only politics.

Patricia goes into great detail attempting to demean Governor Kasich before the election. The OEA is a lobby group in Columbus where Patricia Frost-Brooks is president of the Ohio Education Association, a statewide union representing 130,000 members in k-12 schools, public colleges and universities and education support professionals. So when you listen to what she says, consider that she has one primary job and that is to protect her members. And in her view, she if protecting her members by driving up their wages, paying them very well, so they will have the expendable income to give back some to her lobby group. It’s that simple.

She accuses Kasich of misleading. She makes that assumption based on her own actions, so she assumes that the rest of the world is playing the same game, and they aren’t. Patricia reveals much of herself in that Progress Ohio Article. She is against school reform, she is against reducing the salaries of teachers to help districts deal with their costs, and she genuinely believes that somehow education costs can continue to expand as they have forever. She is completely out of touch, and if she’s the leader of the union, and is one of the most “rational” minds, then what do the “rank and file” believe? Where do they think all the money comes from? Do they not have a basic understanding of economics?

But Tom Ash, director of governmental development for the Buckeye Association of School Administrators, said school boards may not do away with all automatic pay increases.

“At milestones during their career, I think there should be step increases in an attempt to retain those people because you don’t want to lose them,” he said. “But the notion that you should do it every year, I don’t know that that’s necessary when you’re also providing an increase on the base salary.”

Mr. Ash is speaking my language. That’s the reality of the situation. For some teachers that are exceptional, I’ll use Lakota as an example, like Mr. Duff, who is a science teacher that I think is great, I don’t want to see him go anywhere. I’d be happy to tell the school board to throw money at a teacher like that. He should make 70 to 80K per year. But for every teacher like him, there are 4 or 5 that are just cruising through their careers, and they do not deserve to make more than 55K per year, no matter how much education they obtain for themselves.

You have to understand that this whole thing is a system. The OEA for years has lobbied to create legislation that creates incentives for teachers to obtain a master’s degree. For many teachers, obtaining a master’s degree is practical and necessary. According to the U.S. Department of Education, 52 percent of teachers hold a master’s degree or higher. Although some states require teachers to obtain master’s degrees, teachers often seek advanced degrees to increase their salaries and obtain new skills.

Read more: Requirements for a Master’s in Teaching | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/list_6388286_requirements-master_s-teaching.html#ixzz1FA2fulvD

There is a reason Patricia and the OEA wants its teachers to have a master’s degree. That is because the OEA also represent teachers who work for universities and if every teacher working in Ohio continues their education and gets a master’s degree so they can qualify for the financial rewards of obtaining that degree then the money funneled into the colleges can help pay the salaries of the professors staffed at those institutions. It’s what the “working people” in know would call, “job security.” The OEA knows that their teachers at the K-12 level are likely to seek that higher degree if they can afford it with good wages to begin with, but the promise of even higher wages are at the end of that degree. Here are the tuition costs at Ohio State, as listed at their website.
Estimated Costs for U.S. Students

All costs are subject to change without notice. A complete list of quarterly tuition charges by program may be found at the Office of the Registrar’s website. http://gradadmissions.osu.edu/Costs.html

• $11,298 – tuition cost for a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, aslyee, or refugee and a legal resident of the State of Ohio;
• $28,746 – tuition cost for a US citizen, permanent resident, aslyee, or refugee whose residence is outside of Ohio;
• $13,980 – estimated annual expenses for room, board, insurance, books and supplies

The truth of the matter is it’s all about money. It’s always been about money, and it’s a game played at the tax payers’ expense and it has to stop.

Look at this ad from “Teacher World” which is a teacher recruiting website.

With an average teacher salary of $55,931,* teaching in Ohio is a great career choice. Whether you like bustling cities like Cincinnati, Cleveland or state capital Columbus, or prefer smaller towns or rural communities, Ohio has it all. Learn about teaching in Ohio on Teacher World.


The OEA knows what it’s doing. It’s a shell game. They manage to obtain for their teachers above average wages so they can funnel some of that money into the higher education system. They also have to create the incentive for teachers to make more than enough money so they won’t suffer when they must pay their union dues, because the OEA needs that money to lobby elected officials and participate in the political system.

During this entire process, the OEA has managed to wrestle control away from school boards all over the state so that this financial balance cannot be upset by local communities not wanting to pay outrageous taxes. The school boards are brought into the shell game each November when they attend the OSBA, (Ohio School Board Association) event in Columbus.


Check out this video. This is how they sell it.

Once the school board members are taught what they can and can’t cover as board members, the implementations that are put in place by the OEA are safe from scrutiny. This is why the first and only thing school boards are allowed to deal with are the costs associated with direct operating expenditures, which only occupy under 20% of a school district budget. Notice how many times teachers and administrators mention in that video that the only hug a child gets in a day or hot meal they eat comes from the school system. It is ironic that they sell their service and the necessity for the massive amount of money flowing within it by creating the perception that they are the only chance kids have for success in life.

Yet, the message is effective, and the employees believe what they are told from leadership. One person that believed the message was Ryan Fahrenkempt who was teaching at Lakota last year before being forced to resign in August of 2010. As a Lakota educator, Fahrenkamp hosted a science day for students and was featured in a newspaper article about the shortage of male teachers in the elementary classroom.

He was quoted in the 2008 article while he was teaching sixth-grade at the former Shawnee Elementary School.
“I think that boys at this age need that male influence outside just the home,” he said. “In some cases, they don’t get that in the home,” Fahrenkamp said.

Oh, he wasn’t the only one. Just one month later the Mason School System had this happen.

How did Stacy Schuler see herself and her role as a teacher? Schuler said she isn’t perfect and she knows of a healthier lifestyle than she is living now. “I used to wake up earlier to come in [to the school] and work out,” Schuler said. “But I just wasn’t getting enough sleep, and as much as I preach a healthy lifestyle, I would say I’m not a good example of a healthy lifestyle right now.”

What do the parents think about this behavior?  Listen to a mom read a note from her son during the last school board meeting in Mason, Feb 22nd 2011.  Her son went to Mason several years ago, he graduated in 2007.  This proves that the recent news went on for quite some time.  The woman’s testimony is at approximately the 1/4 mark of the video.  George Coates named in this video was the AP who’s genitals were found on Stacy Schuler’s computer upon her arrest and was a direct supervisor to Ms. Schuler.


And it’s happening all over the country. That video you saw from the OSBA, about how school is the only safe haven for many kids is completely misleading. Parents have to be more involved in their kids’ lives. Money will not make that issue go away, because we cannot trust our kids completely to school systems. There are a lot of good people who work within the system, but schools are not the utopia’s that the OSBA envisions and tries to sell to its members.

Click this link to visit a page that attempts to capture all the school scandals in the country. Just pick a city. http://www.schoolteachernews.com/scandal.html

Parents must be an important part of a kid’s life. Schools have sold themselves as an option while busy parents conduct their lives, and in the chaos, people like Patricia, of the OEA, and Governor Strickland, pandering to union money has manipulated tax payers into funding their personal social agendas. And the experiment has been a terrible, miserable failure. Not only is the per pupil spending in Ohio at 10k per student that money has done nothing to prepare children for the world marketplace. MTV is proving to be the stronger influence among young people, and kids get that information for free. The education reforms that Patricia fears so vehemently, like competition with school vouchers, and competitive salaries controlled by school boards, are coming because the OEA have been caught not doing what is right for the children and the communities that send their children to their care every day. Public school is a valuable asset, but is producing at a mediocre level. Not at the level that the wages being asked for dictate. The OEA has attempted to cover that fact with smoke and flashy imagery. But they are the failures behind the curtain. Remember the Wizard of Oz? Patricia is the one behind the curtain in this particular case.

What S.B.5 will do is it will save tax money indirectly, with anticipated increases that used to be mandated by the state will now be controlled at the local level, where tax payers can help the school board adjust their costs to the supplied budget. And it will take control away from the shell game that the OEA has been conducting for years.

That’s why S.B.5 is a great bill. And it’s also why the OEA is so steadfast against it. It’s all about control and manipulation. That’s what Kasich means when he says he wants to return “management control” to local communities. That’s how the economics of the state get balanced and why Ohio can be a model for how the United States as a country should function. We cannot allow a central authority driven by union manipulation to drive up the costs of education in our communities, like it is now. That central authority has to be removed as an influence because they are not elected by the tax payer, yet act as a government authority. The experiment has failed terribly, and it’s time to try a method that puts the responsibility on the local community, and allows competition to do its work of driving costs down, in this case up to 1.3 Billion just for the impact of S.B.5 alone, and make the best and brightest employees excel while the mediocre stay in a budget range that does not destroy the ability of the community to fund them.

The question is, will the communities of Ohio allow themselves to see through the smoke screens and do what is obviously right or will they choose to allow themselves to be scammed by a ruthless adversary. Only time will tell.

Rich Hoffman


49 thoughts on “S.B.5 Would Have Saved $1.3 Billion in 2010: Yet the OEA says it’s teachers will suffer when the average teacher makes 55K?

  1. From an article in the Columbus Dispatch– link for the whole article below
    “Also yesterday, a new report questioned whether scaling back collective-bargaining rights is necessary to reduce costs, noting that Ohio’s average teacher pay fell 3.8 percent between 2008 and 2009 under existing law. The national average was a 2 percent increase.

    An eight-page analysis released by Innovation Ohio cited U.S. Department of Labor statistics which showed that only teachers in Michigan and Utah had larger pay cuts between 2008 and 2009, the most-recent data available.”


    Teachers will higher salaries are the ones that have the most degrees. They have a Master’s degree plus. If they worked in the private sector with this level of education they would be making over $100,000.

    Who will be willing to pursue an education degree in this climate when they hear people like you imply they are overpaid socialists.


  2. The question is, what is the top value of the profession? 3.8 percent when most in a community are not getting anything, is a lot. Also, 3.8 percent of 55K or 65K is a lot too. And who says that we need teachers to have a masters degree? I didn’t ask for it. Why should a community pay for a teachers educaton? The teacher invested in themselves, did they not? If the teacher does get a masters, or a docterate, how many of those types of degrees can a district afford, especially if they all paid over 80K. Why does it seem fact that such variables should not be included in a discussion of school funding?

    And don’t tell me it’s a state law that teachers get a masters degree. That was done by lobby power. Not logic.


    1. Are you aware the teachers are mandated to complete continuing education in order to maintain their teaching license? Are you aware that we pay for that education out of our own pockets, though we are required by the state to complete the coursework? Not all teachers seek out a master’s degree, but eventually you earn one by virtue of completing the requirements set forth by the state. Besides, in the private sector people get promotions…in the public sector, advanced degrees are a way to get a promotion as far as pay goes, though it doesn’t earn you the accolades it does in the private sector. Do you want your children to be taught by people who have been in a profession for many years and don’t complete education to keep themselves qualified and educated? Why wouldn’t you want the education of the nation’s children to be carried out by more qualified teachers with master’s degrees????

      And to your comment, “And who says that we need teachers to have a masters degree? I didn’t ask for it.” I don’t ask governmental officials to attend lots of meetings, conferences and lavish vacations attached to these travels on my taxpayer dollars. Why aren’t you up in arms with your politicians for squandering our money that way?


      1. I am very up in arms with politicians squandering money. More than you can imagine. And yes, I am aware that you are mandated. The state has no right to do such a thing. That will change soon.


  3. Where will teachers be making 55K? Most teachers don’t make that now, let alone after the faulty merit pay (see the statistics of other states that have it!!!) and increased deductions from teachers’ pockets to pay for their insurance and pensions. If you look at the sb5 merit pay scale, it doesn’t matter if you’ve taught for 11 years or 40 years…your base pay with a master’s degree is $32,000. And if Tennessee is any indication, from what I’ve read, teachers can earn up to about $15,000 to $17,000 in bonuses. That means that the most a teacher can aspire to earn is $49,000???? Don’t tell me that’s more than private sector jobs can earn with that many years of service. And they don’t even have the same impact on the country’s future as a teacher does…and the private sector jobs (and charter or private schools) can opt not to accept clients or students. That’s not the case with public schools, where everyone’s needs must be met and all must be accepted. If only elected officials would step out of their offices, boardrooms and corporate fortresses and see what it’s like to walk in the shoes of public workers (i.e. teachers, police officers, firefighters and other public workers). SB5 is going to chase away qualified teachers who can earn better pay in the private sector and is giving free reign for schools to cut teachers at staggering rates. The claim that SB5 will increase job opportunities in Ohio had better be true because there will be a large number of teachers who will be collecting unemployment and will need those new-found jobs!!! Republicans…good luck come re-election time across the country!


    1. Nice comment. Republicans won’t need luck. Most of what you are saying is rooted in what is “feared” to happen and is extreme. It won’t be the way you fear. It’ll be better than you think.


  4. How will the state answer the call to unemployment to those teachers whose school systems decide they are being given the power to play cut-throat and drastically cut their teaching staff? Where, physically, will they put the students when those teachers are cut? The classrooms that exist often don’t provide enough room for the 30+ students many teachers are responsible for now, let alone if the class sizes grow, and they will grow and education will suffer. Anyone that has spent anytime in a classroom with varied learners (including the MANY students who are on IEP’s!!!) knows, education will suffer as teachers struggle to fulfill IEP requirements for each individual student in such large class sizes and cover the material needed to cover. Oh yes, and now that merit pay will be instituted, teachers will no longer have the time or leway to teach useful, interesting, motivating lessons that stretch the minds of students beyond basic curriculum because teachers will be “teaching to the test” in order to make sure students succeed on the standardized tests used to regulate their salaries. (See personal stories in the March/April issue of NEA Today entitled “Just the Facts, Please”. We teachers feel passionate about what we do and, I know much of the public tends to focus on the stories of those bad apples that make it into the news for the sick and perverse things they do, the majority of us work very hard and want your children to succeed. We take pride at seeing them do well, take pride in you and the way you raised them when we see what nice young men and women they turn out to be and we feel pride in our work when we see the knowledge they acquire both from us directly and from what they learn on their own in part due to our inspiration for them to be curious and learn more. I wish most of all that everyone involved in passing SB5 would step back and try to see how much they are dumping on us, and all at one time. I’m sure teachers could agree to such things as merit pay (if we are presented in advance what we are to expect as far as salaries, but to not know how huge a pay hit you will forgoe would, you have to admit, scary to anyone with a family and a mortgage, to worry about) because hopefully if you are already working hard, you pray that the test scores will show that (though there is evidence to show that test scores are inaccurate markers for showing success as the same student can rate different on comparative tests). I believe teachers would also be willing to negotiate to pay more into our pensions and into insurance, but those factors on top of dropping our current salaries (see SB5 base pays) when you have a mortgage based on your current salary and bills and already watch your budget carefully…that’s too much! And again, what is the point of saying you will allow collective bargaining, yet not allow workers to strike and allow management to make the decisions when a negotiation can’t be reached? How is that fair? That takes away our rights to a fair contract agreement and that is very unamerican!


    1. I wish they were willing to negotiate pay. I sent that message through my school board, and over 50,000 Watts of radio and all we get back was crickets. I did get some nasty email responses from made up accounts telling me the OEA would never give up what they negotiated. That a 30% reduction in pay was not an option, even if it saved everyones jobs and helped the kids, and prevented further taxation in a district already unattractive to people wanting to enter the housing market. Nobody was interested in any negotiation until the introduction of S.B.5, and that is the real crime here.


  5. And as for Strickland pandering to union money….what about Kasich and Walker pandering to the corporations who sponsored their candidacy for public office in order for them to carry our their personal agendas to eliminate the bargaining power of unions and actually hoping to eliminate them completely? No difference. Oh wait, Kasich is probably also lining his pockets off this deal as well, being the slick business man off of Wall Street that he is.


    1. I’d say no. Kasich is already rich and doesn’t need to line his pockets. He’s trying to balance a budget and doesn’t care if he’s a one term governor. I personally like to see a guy in his position not thinking in a political way.

      And he didn’t become rich by lining his pockets. He did it because he is really good at manageing budgets and has a unique skill that is in high demand. Everyone will get along better when it is realized that corporations are the blood of our economy. Attacking them is like attacking your own blood supply. This whole “attack the rich” thing is un-American. Strickland didn’t just pander to union money, he layed down and rolled in it. He didn’t do anything to help the education problems in Ohio. All he did was agree to throw more money at it, which is what the unions told him to do, because they needed a tax increase to keep everything going.


  6. My comments are not rooted in fear, but in fact…in fact my husband’s school announced the day after SB5 passed that they would be eliminating anywhere from 22-70 teachers as of November (when SB5 would go into effect) and it has been on the news that other districts have come forth to announce the cutting of large numbers of their staff as well.


    1. They don’t need to do that. That’s foolish. Districts need to put their costs in line, but massive layoffs should be the secondary option once wages are adjusted properly. All those districts are doing is over-reacting without thinking.


  7. Schools are not businesses, and should not be treated as such point blank. ALL teachers should be “top performers.” If they aren’t, then they need better training or let go, not reduced pay.


    1. Thanks for the comment. If money is needed to run an institution, it must be looked at as a business. All teachers are not “top performers” All the training in the world can’t make some of them good. Training does not equal “good,” or even “top performer.” Average teachers should be reduced in pay. They should not be paid above the community average, because they are in fact, “average.” That brings up how can a teacher be measured “Top, good, average, or poor.” Well, those devices must be created because we cannot continue to pay all teachers equally regardless of their degrees. It just simply drives the labor costs up unreasonably.


  8. The day when public schools are funded by their financial profits, that is the day they should be run like a business. I see a lot of average to below average workers in many other sectors of business who are being overpaid (and underworked!!!!) that earn a lot more than ant teacher I know! Maybe if politicians found a way to fairly fund public schools (not privatize them!!!), then we wouldn’t have half this mess and bitterness towards the hard work of teachers.


    1. The difference is that if a business carries bad workers, the business sufferes. Public funding means the tax payer loses. It’s always easier to spend money when it’s not yours. I can’t imagine any other method but privatizing them. Then the public has more control. They can vote with their feet.


    1. Jackass……….drivel??????? And did you realize you left the cap button down while you were typing that last part of your comment………..Oh, you were being sarcastic. Wow, that is very “arty” of you. And such a way with words. Hey, I make plenty of money elsewhere. I do this for fun. And as to a jackass…..I believe you are more in line with a political party that uses that as a symbol. Not me.

      And only an untalented fool would think what I write is drivel, like a child trying to comprehend what “big people” do. Maybe someday you can understand.

      Maybe you wouldn’t be so upset if you could do more things with your life than waiting on someone to give you a check. But again, that requires talent.


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