Facts on Ohio Senate Bill 5/Ohio Issue 2

by on September 29th, 2014
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Myth: “Collecting bargaining rights for public employees are not working and Senate Bill 5 restores balance.”
Ohio Republican State Senator Tim Grendell stated that Senate Bill 5 was unconstitutional before the Ohio Senate on March 30, 2011 based on the 1989 Ohio Supreme Court case City of Rocky River v. State Employment Relations Board.
The bill says that if the governing body and the workers cannot agree, that the governing body gets to choose between the final two offers. In reality, the governing body then does not have to engage in good faith negotiations about issues related to workplace safety and can do what they want to do. Technically, the law still allows for collective bargaining, but in reality the governing body does not have to come to an agreement at the bargaining table.

Myth: “Private sector workers in the state have faced cutbacks, while public workers haven’t sacrificed anything.”
State and local employees have accepted wage freezes, health premium increases, mandatory furloughs, and other concessions in response to economic conditions. (James J. Brudney of the American Constitution Society)

Myth: “Salaries and benefits paid to public employees are out of line with the private sector.”
FACT: Public employees make 6.8% less than their private sector counterparts (Economic Policy Institute, Rutgers University)

Myth: “It isn’t fair that taxpayers pay for teachers’ retirement.”
Teachers earn compensation in two forms: cash salaries and deferred salaries. The cash salary is their paycheck. 10% of each paycheck is deducted and contributed to their retirement. An amount equal to 14% of the cash salary is contributed on behalf of the employee as deferred salary to their retirement. Teachers’ accepted deferred salaries in lieu of cash salary increases. (Rick Ungar of Forbes magazine)

Myth: “We should pay teachers based on merit because this will encourage teachers to work harder and perform better.”
Value-added formulas for teacher performance based on standardized test are not statistically valid and reliable. (Economic Policy Institute, New York Times, National Education Policy Center) Merit pay systems for teachers have been tried in New York City, Chicago, Washington D.C. and Nashville where studies have shown that they did not increase student achievement (Mathematica Policy Research, Economic Policy Institute, National Educational Policy Center, Vanderbilt)
Value-added measures based on standardized narrow the curriculum and work against creativity, innovation and intrinsic motivation (Drive by Daniel Pink)
Requiring administrators to evaluate every teacher for at least 30 minutes twice every year will increase administrative costs and mean that more money is spent on administrative costs instead of less. According to University of Washington economist Dan Goldhaber, about 60% of student achievement is attributable to non-school factors, such as family income and poverty-factors that the teacher cannot control
Research has shown that collaboration among teachers improves the quality of instruction, but merit-pay systems based on standardized test scores for the students of individual teachers creates incentives opposed to collaboration and cooperation
Merit pay based on standardized tests punishes teachers for working with students who have disabilities or are disadvantaged

Myth: “Charter schools outperform traditional public schools.”
According to a 2009 Stanford University study, only 17% of charter schools perform better than public schools while 37% of charter schools perform worse
According to 2006 Ohio state report cards, 1 in 2 charter schools were either in academic emergency or academic watch, while only 1 in 11 traditional public school buildings were in academic emergency or academic watch
Three out of four public schools are rated excellent or effective, while only one in six charter schools are rated excellent or effective

For more information: http://americansocietytoday.blogspot.com/2011/04/facts-on-ohio-senate-bill-5.html

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