The Ohio House Education Committee swiftly amended House Bill 343 this week to include a change that would eliminate the minimum salary schedule from Ohio Revised Code. This change was made under the guise of giving local school districts “much needed relief” and “more flexibility” to determine how they compensate teachers. Apparently the minimum salaries required by law are too steep. Let’s take a look:
Here is the minimum salary schedule set forth by Ohio Revised Code 3317.13:
As you can see, the law requires that a teacher fresh out of college with their Bachelor’s Degree is required to be paid $20,000 per year. Wow, what a windfall.
Now, before we get ahead of ourselves and criticize that teacher for ripping off taxpayers, remember that the teacher must, by statute, contribute 14% of their salary to the State Teachers Retirement System (that’s not a local decision). After that is taken out, but before taxes, that teacher is now paid the grand sum of $17,200 annually. Break that down monthly and that young teacher is raking in $1,433.33 per month! What to do with all that money, right?
Here’s an idea, they can start paying off their student loans…
Bowling Green State University is your typical Ohio college. Not too fancy, well respected for their teacher education program, and a state college. In 2014-15, their tuition rate for a full time undergraduate is $18,850. But college expenses are not limited to tuition, so BGSU has a great chart on their website to help individuals plan their expenses appropriately:
[Let’s hope our young teacher was an Ohio Resident.]
When all of those expenses are calculated in, the first year of college is going to cost $24,138.00. Now, since college tuition costs increase at an annual rate of about 3% per year, we can project the cost of earning the four-year degree (keeping the other annual expenses constant):
Now, like most students these days, our young teacher had to take out loans to cover her college expenses, so upon graduation she’s faced with student loan debt totaling $100,013.37. Fortunately, she has 30 years to pay that off, so it won’t be so bad. Here’s what her payment schedule looks like:
It’s not looking so good for our young teacher anymore. Of that whopping $1,433.33 she’s bringing home each month (before taxes), she’ll have to be paying out $516.31 just to cover that student loan, leaving her just $917.02 (before taxes) to cover all of her monthly bills. But hey, local control, right? I mean, how do we expect our schools to meet these minimum salary requirements? Besides, this is just the first year. Let’s look at how this teacher’s entire career plays out on this salary schedule that is apparently too constraining for Ohio’s local school districts to abide by:
The good news is that since the state now requires teachers to work 35 years (not a local decision), this teacher will have those last few years to take in the full $24,389.60 (before taxes). Looked at in a positive way, after scraping by for 30 years at $1,516.16 per month (before taxes), this teacher might be able to actually pay her own utility bills for once without having to rely on government assistance.
And when our teacher finally retires after putting in 35 years, she’ll get paid 77% of those highest five years of salary and be able to live the dream while making $21,837.20 per year, or staggering $1,819.77 per month.
With figures like those, it’s no wonder local school districts are begging for relief, right?
Damn, I forgot something kind of important. I hope our teacher isn’t going to be needing health insurance. While the premiums have been dropping recently, I hear those prices will be skyrocketing again soon…