TAMPA, FL — During a Republican presidential debate on December 10, 2011, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich claimed that a New York City janitor is paid twice as much as a starting teacher, according to the St. Petersburg Times.
The remark came in the context of Gingrich''s suggestion that poor students should be given the opportunity to fill duties currently handled by school janitors, the article stated.
According to the article, a political watchdog received numerous requests to fact-check this claim.
The group believes that Gingrich''s claim originates from an April 2011 report by a local NBC affiliate, which also claimed that custodians earned more than Bronx teachers, the article noted.
However, where Gingrich enters murky water is in the language the news piece used, referring not to janitors but to first-year custodial engineers, the article added.
The group concluded that Gingrich''s claim, in terms of entry-level unionized "cleaners" was false, the article concluded.