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):

4YearExpensesNow, 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…



  • Paula Garfield

    Clearly..the tax payers are getting a bargain….just another ploy to strip teachers of already below poverty wages .shame on the legislators. Maybe they too should follow and be tied to these same below poverty wages. Lets see they work @ 73 days a year? At what salary? U want to focus on “rip offs of taxpayer money let’s focus on the legislators how many days to days work what is their pay I’d like to know those figures wouldn’t you

  • john curry

    …and they want you to become a teacher while going
    through all of this? I am so damn glad I retired from
    teaching. It’s bad enough to see how our Republican dominated
    legislature has sold their souls (and their votes) to the
    charter school industry and has given them almost any break
    they want while giving them even more dollars per student to
    operate on (so as to make a profit from) than the public
    schools receive from the state. And now…this same Republican
    dominated legislature wants to remove the last vestige of a
    guaranteed minimum salary schedule (for public school
    educators and not charter school educators…because charters
    pay their teachers even less so that they can pocket the
    difference for their company CEO’s)? I write this (with a
    justifiable tear in my eye) knowing that my granddaughter is
    about to embark on her junior year in college in hopes of
    becoming an educator just like her grandfather was. It will be
    far more difficult for her than it was for me thanks to the
    greed of the charter school operators and their profit motives
    and the prostitution fees they pay (in the form of campaign
    donations) to some legislators….something I nor other
    taxpayers had to put up with when I stood behind a desk during
    my teaching career.

  • anastasjoy

    I agree with this. No legislator should be able to make more than the lowest paid teacher. They love to talk about how easy teachers have it but being a legislator is a part-time job.

  • wahoo99

    College costs are ridiculous. There is absolutely no way that a college education should cost $100,000.00. College/trade school should be free for the first two years. Everyone wants “choice” in everything except where I want to send my kids to school. Send my kid to a private / charter school that is where my “education” taxes should go.

  • Barry Goldwater

    I took a peek at the OEA contract with Sycamore schools. Google it. Taxpayers foot the bill for a starting salary of $39,979 BA, 0 experience. The top pay grade/step pays $91,857 year MA45. Look at the net present value of a teacher retirement at age 55 with 30 years of service, high 5 being $82,250 a year (step 17 MA of that contract). That is 30 years of service times 2.2% or 66% for a monthly payment of $4,523.75. (We like to hide wealth in monthly payments). Net present value at 55, interest rate of 2%, is $1,000,312.00 at 55. That’s called a millionaire. Oh, but teachers contributed (from a recession protected union gig). Did they contribute 12.4% self employment tax to social security as teachers? Guess what a private sector self employed person gets at 65 paying tax on the maximum salary since age 22: $2,452 a month at 65. That’s a net present value of $336,538.37 at 65. That’s called a dummy. I got an idea for you, how about we keep that legal schedule and move all teachers and all legislators to social security?

  • Tina Showalter

    Where are you getting over $1 million in NPV? How much do you think teachers can afford to invest? Especially if they are married to a small business owner as you referenced in your comment. Maybe they can take their “hefty” retirement payments to make up for the teaching resources, student incentives, student supplies, and office supplies they took out of their own pockets for the taxpayers’ children.

  • wetsu

    Are you a resident of the Sycamore district?

  • 333SAL

    Oh, so the wealthier (i.e., Republican) districts can keep voluntarily paying their teachers well, but the poorer districts, not being able to afford those “fabulous” salaries for their teachers, will continue to sink in quality of education. So that then, the powers-that-be will dictate privatization for the latter to “improve” things. What they won’t tell you is that the private teachers will continue to be paid poorly and have even less experience. Lowest common denominator?

    A 14 yr. old kid who goes to one of the wealthy schools in central Ohio told me after this last election that he and his classmates had a little “vote” the day of the election. Of course, they all voted straight Republican for the 5-vote “ballot.” When questioned, he could not explain his vote, and obviously didn’t know anything about the candidates. But he seemed pretty sure that he’d voted the “right” way.

    This is a boy who is quite bright and very proud of his grades and awareness of current events. Except that he knew nothing about what’s going on in Ohio. I’m not saying that the teachers should have biased students in any one direction. This just points to a worrisome trend in insular complacency in wealthy districts, which so often mold our future pols.

    Imagine how much worse this could be with privatized teachers in the ghetto. Who’s going to even want to work there without a salary incentive?

  • Brad Brown

    I am a Michigan teacher and we, unfortunately, just reelected Rick Snyder as our governor. In his first term, he made Michigan a right – to – work state, stripped unions of all bargaining rights and annually reduced school funding. The fact that he was reelected speaks volumes of how the general public thinks of education. I don’t work in a district like Sycamore. The maximum amount I can ever make in my district is about $57,000. I’ve never complained about my salary and there are certainly districts that make nearly double this amount. But the numbers that Ohio is considering is not just insulting, it’s a message that they want to close every public school in the state because there’s not a person in their right mind who would pay for a college education when they could get a job at Walgreen’s distribution center in Perrysburg, Ohio, like my brother, and make over $19/hour. The reality is this: Education is an easy target which affects a small percentage of employees. The remaining population majority simply doesn’t care because it doesn’t affect them. Rick Snyder targeted educators, firefighters, auto workers and police and not only got away with it, he got reelected for it. Why? Because until it affects you personally, you don’t really care what the politicians do.

  • MKTG

    Well, Barry, I didn’t go through and check your math but you need to thank a teacher for those skills and your ability to read & think critically–it’s not genetic. I agree with moving legislators to social security, however, teachers do indeed contribute to their retirement and that system has not be robbed by legislators–it has been managed well and thus provides a secure retirement. I suggest hounding your legislators to restore the “borrowed” funds to social security, refrain from robbing that pot of gold and manage it responsibly.

  • Stephen Beard

    My feeling is that public servants such as legislators, governors and lieutenant governors, and in fact anyone who is elected to any office anywhere in the state should do those jobs gratis as a public service. Anyone hired as a professional should receive, on a per capita basis, all the money previously paid to elected officials, with the lowest paid (new teachers, for example) the highest proportion of the cash saved by not paying elected officials.

  • winks

    This insult to teacher pay is all about making charter schools take the place of public schools. It’s the mindset that believes schools should be run just like a business. Hmm? Intelligent? Not!!!

  • lollipopsaremysunshine

    #1 – Most likely, this teacher in training would not have to rely SOLELY on student loans.
    #2 – If this teacher teaches in a high need field / or certain types of schools, then you can get loans cancelled.
    #3 – The teacher would qualify for reduced payments on Income Contingent repayment (which would work until the loans are fully cancelled by teaching in a good place).

  • Daniel

    You’re making this out to sound nicer than it is… You can get DIRECT loans “forgiven” only AFTER 120 (ten years) of qualifying payments…

  • Bob Poole

    Union hack bs.

  • John Cobb

    He’s not saying they will have $1 million. NPV is a standardized method of calculating the worth of an income stream. For example, it allows one to decide which is better: $1000 per month for 35 years, or $1100 per month for 30 years, under various inflation scenarios. Tina, I think you need education in financial calculations!

  • Prof Della Scuola

    Barry, if you think you know so much about what teaching is like and what teachers “should” or “shouldn’t” make, why don’t you put your money where your highly misinformed, misguided, and ridiculously obnoxious mouth is and get out from behind your computer and shadow a teacher for a few days to see what they really do before you jump on a site like this and run your mouth? You obviously have swallowed the load of crap that the lowlife tea party / republican legislators have been feeding you about public educators a la the Koch brothers and Faux News. You need a huge education in the reality of the life of a public school teacher, because you, sir, are about as clueless as they come!

  • Tina Showalter

    Well, John, I did try to do that by looking up NPV. I don’t, and never will, claim to be a financial expert. I have a financial advisor for that. So thank you but I’d prefer to educate myself on other topics. What I do know is that “Barry” knows nothing about education, nor does he have a clue about what a teacher does on a daily basis. If he did, he would value the work that we do, the care that we provide our kids on a daily basis, and understand that it is worth way more than we could ever be reimbursed.

  • lollipopsaremysunshine

    But if you have to go the Income contingent route, Direct loans are forgiven after 25 or 30 years… Perkins loans can be cancelled for teaching in a low income area for just 4 years.
    There is also the possibility of getting a TEACH grant to cover $4000 of the education.

  • Michael Smith

    There are many ridiculous claims in your post. Let’s take on some of them in order, shall we?

    1) Sycamore has a habit of hiring experienced teachers and reducing credit for years of service – for example, hiring someone with 10 years of service and giving them credit for only 3 on their pay scale. You fail to take that into account.

    2) You NPV calculations are ridiculous. Why? Because you clearly don’t even understand how the pension system works – most teachers aren’t going to be eligible for retirement until age 65. A few with a lot of experience already in the system will be eligible earlier, but only a small minority.

    3) Your NPV values aren’t even reproduceable under the numbers you give.

    4) Social Security includes other benefits and insurance NOT given under STRS. Those have value and you’ve failed to consider it.

    5) Teachers are now required to contribute 12% of their pay, and soon it will be 14% – compared to just 6.2% for someone in social security – if you want to consider the employer side match for social security, then maybe you should consider the employer side “match (not really a match as there are no property rights)” for STRS, too?

    6) Given the current funding formula, a new teacher is being promised a benefit that has a built in 6.95% rate of return on their own contributions – and that assumes an average contract with no missed step increases and raises of 2.5% per year on top of that – something no district has offered in years – and it assumes not one cent of district match. Yet to get that, they have to accept the risk of STRS’s 7.75% target portfolio. In other words – assuming STRS hits their target return, the state is skimming from the teachers’ own contributions. If they fail to, the teachers will have their benefits cut – and get an even lower return.

    7) Matching the benefits of a teacher retirement while participating in social security is easy, so long as you save just as much $ for retirement (ie, a combined 14% between social security and your 401(k)).. Why? Because assuming the exact same career salary trajectory as in point 6 above, and inflation equal to what we’ve averaged over the past 15 years, and an average corporate 401(k) match of 3%, you only need to average 6.75% rate of return on your investments. That’s a lower rate of return and, hence, a much safer portfolio than teachers are assuming through STRS. Oh, and that also assumes that social security payments are cut in the future.

    This differential gets even bigger, depending on age. Someone mid-career at Sycamore, for example, can generally cash out of STRS and go into the private sector and, keeping their retirement savings the same, but now being in social security, they can de-risk their portfolio to target only a 5-5.5% rate of return and still beat what STRS would have given them.

    8) You can’t afford to let teachers out of STRS and into social security. If you do that, you can’t seize STRS contributions from teacher paychecks anymore, but the pension shortfall is still there. The state is relying on skimming returns AND the entire district 14% contribution to close that gap (see above: when the promised benefit is a 6.95% return without any district match but they rely on a 7.75% return, that means that the state is taking that 0.8% away every year. In fact, if STRS gets 7.75% returns, they would only need to get a contribution of 10.885% of pay from a new teacher throughout their career. And yet they’re going to charge the teacher 14% and the district 14%? Combined, that’s 2.57 TIMES as much money as they would need if the system was fully funded. If you take the teachers out of STRS, you don’t have that 14-10.885 = 3.115% of pay. You also would likely have to offer some level of 403(b) match. Say 3%? Equal to a corporate 401(k)? Now you’re short 6.115% of pay going to STRS – and how do you close that funding gap then?

    The state can’t afford to let teachers out – although the teachers would be better off.

  • Truth be told

    This is BS all the teachers I know even one that just started fresh out of college with a bachelors degree was just hired at 36000 a year starting salary. Also, I know teachers that are making 60,000 plus a year and they are high school, middle school and elementary. The people who made this chart have no idea what teachers make. The last thing we need is to raise taxes and school fees to pay for school. I mean school fees are already like tuition.

  • Truth be told

    I see a teacher on here saying they have a financial advisor. Wtf? You can afford one on these crappy salaries? Someone is lying. Also,teachers work 9months and get paid for 12. Also if your gonna say we work all summer that is BS as well. It is proven that 90% of all teachers use the same lesson plan and curriculum every year. So what do you do for those 3 months that your paid but don’t have to attend work?

  • Michael Smith

    Recover from the previous 10? (because they don’t actually get 3 months off in the summer).

    I’ve known several teachers who left the profession for private sector jobs offering equal or better pay or benefits – jobs that run all year long without summer vacations… and every last one will tell you that they work fewer hours now than they did then. Think of it as a compressed work week on steroids.

  • ArgyleEuphoria

    This is highly misleading. The minimum salaries are unnecessary because wages for 99.9999% of teachers are governed by union contracts. Virtually all these contracts outstrip the statutory minimum, some by wide margins.

  • Michael Smith

    I’d agree that elimination of the minimum is mostly a moot point, given that salaries are generally significantly higher.

    However, that isn’t all the bill does – it eliminates requirements for salary schedules to include credit for experience. Considering that there is FAR more evidence that experience correlates with teacher quality than there is evidence that the state’s mandated test-based rating system correlates with quality, that is a problem – particularly in districts with tea party control over school boards where they keep trying to push punitive contracts… and where this opens up their options to be even more punitive…

  • Tamera

    and we wonder why our kids aren’t learning enough in school ….because teachers don’t get paid enough to be the teacher, referee, nurse, and confidant, and tutor after school. Who would want to be a teacher with that kind of pay???

  • lollipopsaremysunshine

    They work 9 months (approx) and have the money earned during that time spread out over the 12 months – They ARE NOT getting paid FOR the time they aren’t working…. the time they are working, they only get paid 3/4 of what they should.

    Also, teachers are required to be at the school for more hours than the students… they have extra days that they work, staff meetings, and p/t conferences. There were days that I was at the school for over 12 hours (as a student teacher).

    And, WHERE is it PROVEN that 90% of all teachers use the same lesson plan and curriculum? With the switch to Common Core State Standards, teachers have had to come up with new lessons. They are using new CC aligned textbooks. Something that may have worked with one group of kids may not work with another group. And, as the students progress in CC, they will eventually be “caught up” and teachers will once again need to alter lessons because it shouldn’t take 10 additional lessons to get the kids where the CC aligned textbooks (especially in Math) expect them to be.

  • Anne Smith

    Those who can teach. Those who can’t, pass laws about teaching. I’d like to see these legislators spend a week in our classrooms. Sure I don’t live in Ohio, but really, kids are kids no matter where you go. Sent them to the schools with the kids who are “at risk” and let’s see if they can survive a day… let alone a week. I’ve got some classes that would eat these guys for breakfast! It takes a lot of hard work to manage the quantity of students I have, all with ranging reading levels, learning disabilities, and home lives that would scare some Marines.
    We don’t teach because we’ve got nothing better to do, we teach because it is our calling. But why are we paid like dirt & treated like crap?

  • laura61

    If you wish to be taken seriously, learn the difference between “your” and “you’re”, and use the two words correctly. Also note that “gonna” is not a word. Finally, please provide the evidence that supports your statement “It is proven that 90% of all teachers use the same lesson plan and curriculum every year.” After all, the Common Core standards require students to provide evidence to support their answers, conclusions, opinions, etc….

  • Truth be told

    Well, if my grammar offends you then you have my apologies. (Not the topic). Also, I provided as much evidence as anyone else. (Not the topic) Would you like me to find the lowest paying schools pay chart and provide it to you as above? My town is not rich, but if you wish you may request a print out of Vermilion,OH’s teacher salary charts for the last 10 years if you wish to. Fact: every teacher here has a new car (2012-2015). A teacher just retired an she was making 65,000 a uear(third grade teacher). 5years before retiring she bought a brand new off the lot BMW. I work and make good money. More than the ten years of being a teacher can make apparently. I cant afford a new BMW and all my bills. Ask any child to tell you what they learned for example: books read, essays written and the exams. I will bet it is the same from the year before. If you went to public school you would know this. Now I will relate this to my grammar. I went to public school, was in AP classes (advanced placement) and was in college courses my junior year. I graduated with a 3.9GPA. Apparently teachers are getting paid for how well they teach according to this. If “you’re” (you’re =you are) “gonna” or would you prefer… going to be correcting my grammar which could be relevant to how well teachers work. Make sure its not on a post about teachers wanting more money. If my grammar was all you had you may need to revisit your teachers so you can make a valid discussion. I am tired of seeing people correcting people for mistakes. I bet you proof read your post about 8 times before posting. I wrote mine out without proofreading while I took a dump. Have a nice day! Ps. (post script) You’re not going to care but I’m taking a dump and tried my best not to punctuate this post. (Figured I would give you something to do.) I’m also taking a number 2 posting this. 🙂

  • mrrunswithscissors

    Reading comprehension is also not a skill you possess as this isn’t an article about teachers wanting more money, but about teachers wanting to keep the money they have (or will have) earned.

    As such, it’s going to be challenging for you to continue to defend your position to anyone – no matter their career choice – who desires the same.

    You can start with yourself.

  • Truth be told

    I’m not defending only stating facts. I have not known one teacher to start at those salaries. Grammar,reading comprehension? Not saying I don’t like the attention. I am making a discussion which seems to be working. Even if its just correcting my grammar and comprehension. Thanks for participating. Now for my conclusion. No one should be promised a set wage before being hired or showing their skill level. As I have proven in this discussion, graduating with a high GPA and honors a district with over-paid teachers low quality of teaching skills. I think each teacher needs to be assessed to determine their skills and personality before offering them a wage. That too can be corrupt. Be happy that they get as much as they do. With our economy they should be lucky. I believe a teacher with amazing teaching skill and a passion for the job should be paid more than someone that does it for a check. My best teachers were happy and loved doing their job. All teachers in my town make 30 plus starting wage. So if you’re a teacher come on over!

  • Karen Delong

    Well what will happen is that a lot of teachers will move to other states and Ohio is already experience a teacher shortage in some areas, this will devastate the school system. I know im ready to sell out and move I’ve already been getting interview hits from other states.

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