I spent twenty-five years as a public school teacher and I think I have a pretty good handle on what the profession is all about.
I left public education in 2000 as a result of my battle with the ACLU for my God-given right to pray with my football teams. I walked away, I was not fired. In fact, my last year of coaching, our football team went undefeated. The “public” schools no longer represent the values of the public.
I walked away and started Pass The Salt Ministries to awaken Christians to the anti-Christ agenda of those in positions of power within the educational establishment. They control what is taught and “The Creator” is persona non grata.
As I watch the events in Madison, Wisconsin, Columbus, Ohio and soon, your state as well, I feel it necessary to shed some light from my experience and what I see going on regarding “public” (government controlled) school teachers.
These are merely observations, and although they are accurate ones, they do not necessarily apply to all teachers in all states. These are some things I have observed here in Ohio.
Most teachers do not really support the teacher’s union. In Ohio, a teacher is required by law to be a member of the “bargaining unit,” which is a code word for forced union dues.
The NEA takes the forced union dues of the teachers and uses it to promote far-left agendas. The rank and file teacher has no idea what the money is used for, nor do they care, as long as they have “legal protection” that they believe the union provides.
Bucking the union is a head ache that most teachers do not want to deal with. They would rather pay their monthly dues and be left alone than to stand up and fight. Most do not realize that the “paperwork” and policies that they despise the most are policies put into place by the far-left activists that their union dues helped to elect.
My guess is that a very small percentage of those in the streets in Wisconsin and Ohio are actually teachers. The bussed-in crowds are rounded up by the same far left organizations funded by the teacher’s union dues that “community organizers” have used to sow discard all across this nation. Every group wants the other group to make the sacrifices…class warfare.
The average teacher has no idea what the hell is going on in the political world. Like every other line of work only those with an agenda, or a bone to pick, get involved in work-place activism.
Teachers just want to be left alone.
Teaching is hard work, especially if you do a good job. The hardest working teachers are the ones just out of college. They get the worst assignments; the worst behaved students, and tend to head up the co-curricular clubs that older teachers don’t want to deal with. The longer you teach, the better your job becomes. Eventually you settle in and teach the same subjects year after year, working with the best students, from the same lesson plans that you used the previous ten or so years. After fifteen years, you are on cruise control.
In Ohio, the teacher is contracted to work 183 days per year, with 180 days actually spent in the classroom. My last year in public education my “union negotiated” contract allowed me 15 sick days, which accumulated if unused. In other words, if I didn’t miss any work days in year one, I had 30 sick days available in year two. I was permitted to accumulate 220 sick days over my career. Beyond that, it was “use it or lose it.” Upon my retirement, my severance pay would be 25% of my accumulated sick days (88) at which I would be paid my daily rate. Some districts pay out more than 25%.
In addition to the 15 sick days, each teacher had 3 “personal days” which could be used as time off for any reason. Plus, we were each granted 3 “professional days” which could be used for conferences, etc.
One of our greatest fringe benefits were “calamity days,” days in which school was not in session for weather related incidents. We called them “snow days”. The State of Ohio determined that each school was permitted 5 calamity days that would not need to be made up…5 days that the teachers were paid for not working. (Sometimes, the legislature excuses more days if it was a particularly bad winter.)
So let me help you with the math. In Ohio, a teacher was contracted for 183 days…minus 15 sick days…minus 3 personal days…minus 3 professional days…minus, (if old man winter cooperated) 5 calamity days…157 days of work. (Plus a substitute must be hired for each day).
My first year of teaching (1975) I signed a contract for $6700 to teach high school physical education, assistant football, wrestling, and baseball coach. Those were the days when teachers really were under paid. But I never complained. I knew what the job paid when I signed up for it.
But things are different today. One of my buddies (Bill) who started with me back in 1975 is still working at one of the more affluent schools in Central Ohio and his 2010 contract paid him $104,000 for teaching physical education. My guess is that Bill is not the best teacher in the district, merely the highest paid, based solely on longevity, not performance.
Let’s work some numbers. Bill makes $104,000 for 183 days of work…$585.31 per day. Using the scenario from above citing all of the “days off” the contract allows, the 15 sick days, 3 personal days, 3 professional days, and 5 calamity days adds up to 26 days of pay for which he did not work…$585.31 per day equals $15,218 for doing nothing.
Did you know that while little Johnnie enjoys his 5 snow days it doesn’t even compare to the joy that my buddy Bill has…those 5 snow days paid him $2926.55 for sleeping in. Gotta love that collective bargaining…getting paid not to work.
But that is not all. While elementary teachers work a full load, high school teachers are far more pampered. The average school day is 7 ½ hours, usually consisting of 9 class periods, each 50 minutes in length. Most contracts call for a teacher work load of 6 classes, one lunch period, one study hall duty, and one conference (free) period. In essence, 7 periods of class at 50 min. each totals 5.8 hours working directly with students. That’s how they keep the teacher/student ratio low…more teachers working fewer hours. Bill makes $108.86 for each hour in the classroom.
One of the things that JQ Public doesn’t understand is that the contract automatically has a built in raise for teachers each year. Take a look at this salary scale from a school in Colorado. Notice that at each step along the pay scale the teacher receives an automatic “step increase’ of 3% per year. In addition, they receive more money for levels of education, (BA +15). While the “average” salary in this district may be $55,000, it is possible for some teachers to make $100,000. Even a “pay freeze” is a misnomer. Teachers always get their yearly increase.
And here is another kicker. When my buddy Bill retires this year at age 58 after 35 years in public education he will be paid 70% of his highest salary as a pension. Yep, that’s right: Bill will retire at 70% of his $104,000 or $72,800 per year until he dies…plus his “severance package from unused sick leave…88 days at $585 per unused sick day…$51,480.
Oh, did I mention that Bill’s wife is also a teacher? Her deal is nearly identical to Bill’s. Florida, here they come!
I must have a hole in my head. If I had just shut my mouth and quietly given up my God-given rights I would be sittin’ in high cotton.
Hmmm. I wonder who is on the hook for the pension. Ohio’s State Teacher Retirement System is currently only 46% funded.
This cannot go on. It is not about the teachers, and as they have shown us in Wisconsin, it certainly isn’t about the children.
It is all about the math.
So let’s not stop in Wisconsin. Bust up the NEA. Eliminate the National Department of Education. Let’s give the schools back to the people.
…it’s for the children.
By Coach Dave Daubenmire
About The Author
Coach Dave Daubenmire, founder and President of Pass The Salt Ministries www.ptsalt.com and Minutemen United www.minutemenunited.org, is host of the high octane Pass The Salt radio show heard in Columbus, Ohio.
In 1999 Coach Daubenmire was sued by the ACLU for praying with his teams while coaching high school in Ohio. He now spends his energy fighting for Christian principles in the public domain.
Do you think like a Christian or a humanist? Did the Founders really separate Church and State? Is Judicial tyranny ruining America? Check out these great teachings by the Coach