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Ohio’s Senate Bill 5 has scary implications for future teachers

Published: Fri, May 13, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m.

Ohio’s Senate Bill 5 has scary implications for future teachers

Gov. John Kasich’s Senate Bill 5 is undoubtedly terrible legislation for 350,000 public employees in Ohio because of the drastic elimination of pay increases. What this bill mainly does is limit collective-bargaining rights for public employees, which include teachers, police officers, and firefighters. Taking away bargaining rights from these unions sets our state back to how these public services were upheld in the 1970s.

The cuts made by this bill are said to save the state as much as $1.3 billion to help stabilize our debilitated state budget and economy and create new job opportunities. It also requires these employees to pay a greater amount for health insurance and limits sick leave and vacation time.

My main concern deals with the budget cuts for teachers because I’m currently studying to become one. According to Gov. Kasich, funding will be cut for grades kindergarten through 12. As a middle-childhood-education major, my focus areas are between fourth through ninth grade, so this bill will affect me no matter what.

As a future educator, SB 5 greatly threatens my chances of finding a job once I graduate. If this bill bcomes law, fewer teaching jobs will be available and many current teachers may lose their jobs. For many students studying to be teachers, including myself, the outlook on our careers is starting to falter. Our entire futures are at stake because this bill could prevent us from reaching the goals that we’ve worked so hard to achieve.

Overall, this proposed legislation makes me want to put all my plans of becoming a teacher on hold. It even makes me think about eventually switching my major to escape the inevitable hardships of the future teaching business.

Jina Vitullo, Boardman


1PAborn(21 comments)posted 4 years ago

Jessiedavid - I have seen your other posts regarding teachers and you always seem to indicate that the teachers in this area lack what it takes to teach effectively. Now you are telling an education major to abandon teaching because there are "more than enough qualified teachers" here? You are contradicting yourself. Which is it?

Also, I suggest you do a search for the letter that Senator Bill Seitz (Republican-Cincinnati) wrote to his constituents concerning SB5. When you find it, read it carefully. It supports what fair-minded individuals in this state have been saying all along: SB5 is unfair and overreaching.

Jina Vitullo - I will tell you what I have told my own college-age children: when you get your degree, RUN from this area and don't look back!

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2PAborn(21 comments)posted 4 years ago

This is the statement I was speaking of:


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3tkytown(43 comments)posted 4 years ago

Public employees are an easy target for politicians, real leaders set an example (take concessions with those people who are asked to take concessions) our politicians are cowards, they preach take concessions, pay more for health coverage, pay more in to retirement, but do they set the example, NO! Do as we say, not as we do! There needs to be some adjustments to public employee compensation, but SB 5 goes way too far in demonizing public employees (teachers, policemen, firemen and public servants) The GOP is alienating the public, senior citizens and taxpayers and they will feel the pain at election time. If you want quality public employees, you've got to treat them with respect or you get what you pay for....

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4paulparks(235 comments)posted 4 years ago

"...the goals we've worked so hard to achieve."

What are your goals? Is it arriving at the threshold of a teaching career - or is it being the best teacher you can be? People who only want "to arrive" look at teaching as a really good deal - that may be a little less of a good deal in the future. People who want to be the best teachers they can be don't worry so much about the money issues. I don't want to argue the merits of SB5, I just think if you have a passion for teaching, go for it. If you're just looking for a really nice job, maybe teaching isn't your cup of tea.

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5PAborn(21 comments)posted 4 years ago


I'm sorry that you did not read (or will not acknowledge reading) Mr. Seitz's comments. I watched as he and Senator Grendell (also an "R") made their comments prior to the SB5 vote concerning their issues with the bill and its constitutionality. Neither of these men is a friend of organized labor, but they were of strong enough character to stand up for what is right and against what is wrong.

I don't know, nor do I care, what your issue is with Mr. Betras. I am also not one of his biggest fans. This issue is larger than the so-called union thugs that you like to dismiss. In the bigger picture, it is about limiting the rights of all the people of this state.

I'm sorry that you have such a low opinion of teachers and think they are so lazy. I live near a school; I see teachers headed to their classroom at 7 a.m. and their classes don't begin until 8:30 a.m. I see their cars in the parking lot sometimes as late as 6 p.m. That's a long day for any one of us, especially after a day in the classrom with 25-30 young kids. Teachers are required to get continuing education credits; they don't get time off during the day to do that, so it must be that they are taking classes at night or during the summer. So much for that cushy 9 month job. Teachers are not lazy. It is that type of demeaning attitude that inspires the disrespect we see in today's children.

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6VindyPost(436 comments)posted 4 years ago

Dear Jina Vitullo,

Congratulations on your career as an educator! Keep up your positive and optimistic attitude and you will ultimately succeed in your teaching endeavors!

DO NOT ALLOW yourself to indulge in JessieDavid's comments: Simply Ignore that ....that was uncalled for and that person has serious issues regarding education, and Mr. Betras.

Our community and children of tomorrow definitely NEED YOUR EXPERTISE...please keep your chin up and follow your dreams. (you certainly do not need to "get out of town nor become a lawyer") Look out for yourself and your goals will be fulfilled.

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7Phil_EngAmer(32 comments)posted 4 years ago

Scary as the implications may be, they are necessary for budget stability in Ohio. The gap between the public sector and the private sector in Ohio is increasing and something needs to be done to change the inequity. As you can read here: http://bit.ly/kh3Qlf, in Ohio, in 85 of the 88 counties, state workers are paid much more than their private sector neighbors. If Ohio is successful in bringing state-worker compensation packages into line with the private sector could erase almost 30 percent of Ohio's projected $8 billion shortfall over the next two years. Teachers are an integral part of education in America, but the gap between the public and private sector teachers is one that needs to be reckoned with. On average there’s about $14,000 difference between teachers in the public and private sector, and the gap gets larger when you add in the benefits that teachers in the public sector receive (http://usat.ly/9nmMAA). The freezing of wages and bargaining is unfortunate, but necessary, even President Obama has done in it Washington (http://bit.ly/hMJe6W). In order to actually fix sate budgets, and not just in the short term, stark reform must happen. SB5 is trying to do that.

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8redeye1(4995 comments)posted 4 years ago

I just have to wonder if you are only in it for the money and bene's . Let's face it if you want to teach, then teach. After all , all teachers say it about the kids!!!!!!!!!! But I'm bettin its more about the 8 months of work a year., with all holidays off, summers off . So if you really want to teach don't worry about SB5 and go for it.

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9AnotherAverageCitizen(1176 comments)posted 4 years ago

SB5 is scary for teachers. But you will have lots of company in scary land. Police, fire, teachers, all public workers and then private workers will be next.

Very few teachers start teaching because of the money. Most good teachers I believe teach because it is in their heart to help others.
Putting up with 25-30 kids each hour, I don't consider great benefits.

Jina, if your heart is in teaching then teach, your reward wil be much richer then money.

Everyone on this board had teachers. They all had summers off as kids.

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10AnotherAverageCitizen(1176 comments)posted 4 years ago

State Rep. Ron Amstutz of Wooster, R-3rd, chairman of the House Finance and Appropriations quoted.

"a bill that restricts collective-bargaining rights for public employees moved through the state Legislature too quickly."

And they have us all believing SB5 is all about saving money.

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11AnotherAverageCitizen(1176 comments)posted 4 years ago

Full time custodians at Struthers Schools make less than $19,200 average full time. And many still think all school employees are over paid. They are not getting rich as school employees.

sb5ers, may I suggest going after Big oil companies making 34 BILLION a quarter and also WALL street Bailouts. Not middle class Mahoning ave, Market street, 224, and 422.

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12Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years ago



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13Philo(99 comments)posted 4 years ago

Rgardless of how you feel about SB 5, all of the power is still in the hands of the people. They just don't realize it. If enough police, firemen, or teachers leave the profession, or decide not to enter it in the first place, then wages and benefits will rise naturally due to the law of supply and demand. Look what happened to nurses. You don't see any licensed RNs working for chump change, do you? Why would a teacher or fireman or police officer be any different? When a school district places an ad for a new teacher with a starting salary of $27,000 and no one applies, the starting salary will rise. Try hiring an engineer or a surgical nurse for $27,000. Good luck. It's not that they're better people, they just command more value due to the law of supply and demand. When the supply of teachers, and other public sector workers drops, I guarantee wages will go up.

As a general rule, teachers tend to be fairly smart individuals, unfortunately for them, they don't seem to be smart enough to limit the numer of people who enter their profession. Doctors do it, engineers do it, so do lawyers. Even plumbers and carpenters do it. There are only so many apprenticeships open each year. It seems like colleges graduate more education majors and business majors than all other degrees combined. That may be an exaggeration, but you've got to admit there's a boat load of highly qualified, certified teachers out of work in this Valley and across the state. The teachers union would probably do themselves, and their members, a favor by restricting the number of individuals who can enter their profession in any given year.

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14Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years ago

Todays economy leaves the average working person struggling for survival . They have taken a hit on wages but their taxes haven't relaxed a bit . Paying the public sector employees is like feeding the bears . They will snap at your fingers when the tax dollars run low . Their goal is to tax more of your ever dwindling less . When there is no pound of flesh to exact they want to grind the bones .


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15ytown1(395 comments)posted 4 years ago

So Save, your answer is to just tax us till we have nothing left to eat and are homeless, just so the public unions don't have to cut back or share in the pain we are experiencing now and probably for some time?

Great plan you have there, only one problem with your plan, after the damage is done you will have nothing to teach, protect or serve.

And you call that saving our country?

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16Alexinytown(246 comments)posted 4 years ago

Notice this.

The ONLY ones complaining about SB 5 are the teachers. You don't even hear from the police and fire like you do the teachers.

Do not mistake these letters to the editor as being the majority opinion, because if you strip away the yelling and complaining from this one small group of people, you hear silence.

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17ytown1(395 comments)posted 4 years ago

The public unions have made cuts for years! Teachers in Youngstown for example, have given back for the last ten years in the form of no pay increases, higher out-of-pocket costs for health care, and longer working hours than just about any other school system around here."

Why is your only example YCS? They were under Fiscal Emergency and were forced to make cuts. Why not any of the other school districts? I know why save, because no one else has taken any cuts, period, see all of the data provided by Vindy and The Buckeye Institute web site. And please don't insult our intelligence by putting this on Gov. Kasich, (I spelled his name correctly) the tax reductions were already in place, he only accelerated them because he could see the benefit of swallowing the bad tasting pill now would help get the state of Ohio in, if it is already painful why not?

Just wait if SB5 is defeated, Boardman, Canfield, Poland and many others will also be under Fiscal Emergency because they don't have one idea on how to show fiscal responsibility. SPEND SPEND, MORE TAXES, MORE TAXES is the game plan.

Why do you suppose that this is their game plan?

They are telling us that this is the way to prosperity, pay teachers more, and everyone else will magically earn more too? I thought Reaganomics was hilarious but this idea takes the cake.


I also find the silence from other public sectors quite surprising too? I guess you have found out who has the most to lose. mainly because the 40% increase in compensation over the last decade when inflation was only 21% is one reason.

We also forget how many of the teachers take on Summer Jobs taking work away from seasonal workers, high school students starting out among others mainly because they have the time and means?

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18jojuggie(1607 comments)posted 4 years ago

Most male teachers that I have known, in my lifetime, are in that profession because of the security it provides, plus early retirement, and summers off where they can paint houses, and earn monies to supplement their salaries.

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19walter_sobchak(2116 comments)posted 4 years ago

While doctors and lawyers limit the quantity of people entering the profession, engineers do not. Doctors attend medical school and lawyers attend law school after receiving their baccalaureate degrees. Engineers do not have a separate school that we attend; we take all comers. However, engineering programs do limit the students by requiring calculus, physics, chemistry, etc. that some people just have a difficult time handling. This is the reason that engineers can, at some point, leave the field and enter the teaching profession with a minimum amount of additional higher education. But, when was the last time you heard of a teacher leaving that field and becoming an engineer?

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20Philo(99 comments)posted 4 years ago

Walter - I stand corrected. However, a case could be made that engineers do limit the quantity of those entering the profession through the test to acquire professional registration. Your point, however, is well taken. Rarely if ever, will you see someone who entered medicine, law, or engineering as a "fallback" option like many of those who pursue other degrees.

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21ytown1(395 comments)posted 4 years ago

I am not confused one bit.

Where did I blame the teaches? I only made the observation that your only example was the YCS, the reason their were concessions is because they could not afford what they had, enrollment was dropping along with revenue from the state due to that fact, and the state made them make changes under fiscal emergency. So my point was either the others make changes or end up in fiscal emergency like YCS and then the state will make the changes for them. Have it your way and we won't need SB5 anyway in that case.

I say if you can make that much elsewhere you need to first see what the comparable housing and cost of living there is first, you may not feel so smart once you check that out.

Also I want to let you know that disrespect goes both ways, your spelling of the Governors name does not gain you any respect form me or others that feel he is doing what is best for the state at this time. We can disagree but disrespect from an educated person as you describe yourself just makes you look petty and small.

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