Lawmaker's Proposal: Ohio Cops as Substitute Teachers
Updated: Monday, January 28 2013, 08:26 PM EST
COLUMBUS -- A central Ohio congressman is writing a plan that could put more officers in schools.
U.S. Representative Pat Tiberi, (R )-Ohio, said the goal of the federal law he’ll propose is to make schools safer by making it more appealing for off-duty officers to be substitute teachers.
He said a local police officer brought the idea to him.
“He thought this would be a good idea to supplement what [school] resource officers already do, and it’s a way of creating a little more safety on any given day in a school that maybe doesn’t have a resource officer,” Tiberi said.
The bill that Tiberi is writing would waive federal taxes on wages that off-duty officers earn as substitute teachers.
The congressman contends that off-duty officers who have an interest in educating tend to choose to do high-paying security jobs in their spare time, rather than taking a low-paying job as a substitute teacher.
His proposal comes amid a national discussion about making schools safer, and a debate over whether or not teachers and other staff members should carry concealed weapons in schools.
The proposal doesn’t dictate that officers would carry weapons, but Tiberi said it does accomplish one of the major goals of those who advocate for concealed carry in schools.
“On any given day it tells the criminals: well, that elementary school could have a sub who’s a police officer,” Tiberi said.
Angela Dicke of the School Study Council of Ohio, which is associated with the University of Dayton, said officers could make good subs, but she cautioned against hiring those who aren’t inclined to teach.
“You have to be so willing to do whatever the [classroom] need is, and do it well, so there’s not a loss of instructional time. Are those officers going to be able to do that?” she asked.
In Ohio, substitute teachers are required to have a bachelor’s degree and pass a background check.
Tiberi admitted that waiving taxes could be controversial, but argued it would be more cost-effective for the federal government to forgo the revenue than to pay to put an officers in every school.
Reporter: Dana Jay
Web Producer: Ken Hines