Here’s a quick thought on another argument SB5 supporters keep using during debates: quoting the number of applicants for teaching jobs.

In a recent debate between State Senator Keith Faber (representing Better Ohio) and Dale Butland (representing We Are Ohio) the participants are asked a question about whether SB5 will make public positions less attractive to highly-qualified applicants.

Butland speaks first and mentions that starting pay for Ohio’s teachers is only $31K/year – which puts Ohio at #42 for the lowest paid teachers in the country. And Senate Bill 5 removes even the minimum pay standards for teachers. Butland calls this “absurd” – and he’s right.

Faber’s response, however, is also pretty damn absurd. He claim schools in his district receive, on average, 400 applicants for each opening for a K-6 teacher position. (jump ahead to about 1:57:00) Later he mentions that 100 people applied for a high school math position.

First, notice that Faber never tries to dispute the fact that teachers are paid too little and will likely be getting lower pay under SB5. He not only seems to accept that point – he seems this think it’s a good idea. Faber’s argument is based purely on the economics of the situation and he completely fails to address the quality of education our children will receive, the quality of the teachers applying for the jobs or the quality of life a teacher deserves.

Faber seems to be saying that since the demand is so high for math teachers we are obviously paying them too much. Even if we pay them less – and cut the crap out of the benefits they receive – we’ll still have a lot of people who are willing to do the job.

Under Faber’s logic, if we get 100 people applying for a math teacher job at $33K, then we can probably cut it down to $25K and still get 50 people to apply. Why not figure out the absolute minimum we can pay and still get ANYONE to apply? Why should we only be the 8th worst in the country for starting teacher pay when we can be #1?!

It’s a completely screwed up argument that shows how little respect Faber and other SB5 supporters have for the teaching profession.

It’s also a red herring.

Notice that Faber also fails to mention that Ohio – and the country as a whole – is in the middle of a recession. With nearly a 10% unemployment rate, anyone and everyone is applying for every job available. Saying 100 people applied for a math teacher job doesn’t tell you much about the job or the people. How many of the applicants were even eligible to teach in Ohio? How many actually had degrees in math, or any degree at all?

100 people applying for a math teacher job – or ANY job – right now is not surprising. You can hear similar stories around the state for all kinds of public and private sector jobs.

For example, FIVE THOUSAND people applied for jobs as dealers at the new casino in Cleveland. Jobs that pay, on average, about $35K year. I can almost guarantee that none of these people were highly qualified card dealers and I’d be surprised if any of them have ever worked in a casino before.

Quoting the number of people who applied for a teaching job is completely irrelevant and simply a distraction. As Dale Butland put it, it’s like the pretty girl on stage intended to distract you from the magician’s tricks.

Vote No On Issue 2

  • eraser1998

    Here’s a thought – the number of applicants for a job opening is irrelevant if you don’t consider the number of those applicants who end up being employed.

    When someone finishes college, do they apply for just ONE job?  No.  They apply for dozens at the very least.  So assuming that they get a job, they’ll have spiked the applications numbers everywhere else.

    What Faber is trying to do is imply that there are 100 people out there that want that job, and that job only, so they had their pick.  I’d wager if you went through the stack of applicants, you’d find some that weren’t qualified for the position, and that most of those who were qualified are employed elsewhere (many might not EVER have been unemployed)

  • Anonymous

    Quit using logic, Joseph.  You need to think more like Faber.  Teaching has never been given respect in Ohio and with SB5, it will be kicked to the bottom of the economic ladder. 

  • Anonymous

    Quit using logic, Joseph.  You need to think more like Faber.  Teaching has never been given respect in Ohio and with SB5, it will be kicked to the bottom of the economic ladder. 

  • I personally believe the governor of Ohio is overpaid, especially given the shitty job he’s doing.

  • There is a reason Faber treads lightly on school teachers, half of his family are teachers.

  • Tarfam325

    You don’t even need regular teacher certification to teach in a Charter school, though.  So if you REALLY want mediocre and UNCERTIFIED teachers working with children, let’s QUADRUPLE the funding for these FAILING, PRIVATE, FOR-PROFIT schools who will let almost anyone teach.  That ought to help.  Absurd!!!  

  • Anonymous

    The anecdotal response by Faber is meaningless, and the conclusion he draws from the it is absurd. He’s not attempting to present provable facts and he knows it. He’s trying  to sway the woefully uninformed.

  • Anastasjoy

    There were also four candidates. Should we find out how little they were willing to work for? What if Dennis Spisak — utterly unqualified for the office — was willing to work for, say, $25,000 a year? Should we have “hired” him?

  • Orion89

    I think we ought to look at Sen. Faber’s campaign contributions and compare to his voting record on education. I think they’ll find some interesting correlations with his education policy and for profit education charter  schools. Follow the money website has some interesting info.  Notice how Brennan & Lager have combined to give almost 30,000 to Faber’s campaign. No wonder he is so adamant about the “reforms” we’ve seen in education.

  • Orion89

    I do not agree with that. I have friends that are teachers in that area of the state, and they have despised him for years. Long before sb5. His public comments may be muted about teachers, but many out in that area do not care for him. That area  just votes a Republican ideology each year.

  • Dmoore2222

    This is all part of the race to the bottom started by the the Republican diety, Ronald Reagan. If they could get away with having teachers gassing up the busses over their lunch time they would.

    A little off topic but still related to SB5, notice how mum these republicans are on what a marvelous job the Muskingum County area public safety forces did with the wild animal escape event. To have rectified this highly dangerous situation in less than 24 hours is astonishing. This should be the new poster event for We Are Ohio. You wouldn’t have this level of competency and comittment under a demoralizing SB5. In fact, you’ll see just the same race to the bottom in public safety that will attract the lowest common denominator employee as the truly competent leave that high risk profession. Kasich being a coward wouldn’t have a clue about what it takes to confront danger. That’s the nature of a bully. Here again he misses an opportunity to truly lead, with the eyes of the country and the world on Ohio, by neglecting to express any appreciation whatsoever for the magnificent job these public safety guys did. How disrespectful.

  • facts

    You should check your facts before spewing lies.  Charter school teachers have to have the same certifications as traditional school teachers.  Also, charter schools are non-profit.  SOME, not all, contract with for-profit management companies.  Many are run by school districts.  Misstatements/lies by both sides of the aisle make me sick.

    BTW – it was a CHARTER school in New York that is experimenting with paying EFFECTIVE teachers $100,000/year.  Because they can control their salary costs, they are able to do this.

  • exfloridateacher

    In 2003 I interviewed with a district in nw ohio where I was told they had 500 applicants and that I was one of 5 people being interviewed for an English position. The person who got the job was a former ncaa div 1 doccer player and since they were also looking for a soccer coach as well, well all I can say is this school didn’t advertize the job real well if they only had 100 apply.

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