Even before Senate Bill 5 put a spotlight on teacher pay and benefits, people in Ohio and across the country were discussing how much teachers really work—and whether they’re in it just for the summer vacations.
StateImpact Ohio has been looking at just how much Ohio teachers really do work, and how much they work in comparison to other professionals.
National data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that teachers work fewer hours than other professionals. On average, teachers work just over seven hours a day on weekdays, compared to closer to eight for other professionals. On weekends too, on average, they spend less time working that people in other professions, about 45 minutes less. (The Bureau of Labor Statistics only collected data from people who said they were currently working. So if a teacher–or any other worker–was on summer vacation, for example, for a day on which the time the Bureau of Labor asked him or her how they spent their time, then they were not included in this data.)
Ohio teachers’ contracts with their school districts specify the required work day. In Columbus, the state’s largest school district, that day is seven and a half hours, including a duty-free lunch period. In Cleveland, it’s six hours and forty minutes, including a duty-free lunch period. However, some schools have agreements with teachers that allow for longer work days.
Many teachers say that they work beyond those contractual work days, including before and after school and on weekends.