Texas teachers taking on extra jobs

A new survey of Texas teachers paints a bleak picture of their finances including taking on extra jobs and spending hundreds of their own dollars to pay for classroom supplies.

The Texas State Teachers Association is hoping legislators will take a hard look at the new data before this next session.

When the final school bell rings a teacher's work day doesn't stop. According to a new study released by the Texas State Teachers Association 31 percent will head to a second job. It's a lifestyle TSTA President Noel Candelaria knows well.

"When I first started teaching I was also a financial advisor,” said Candelaria.

               
It's not any new or surprising statistic for Candelaria who worked as a special education teacher for 13 years.
               
However, he's hoping that statistic  from a survey of 800 Texas teachers will be a wakeup call to legislators to support more public education funding.
               
"We need the legislators to know and understand what the teachers do every day in providing for our students,” said Candelaria.
               
In addition to the 31 percent of teachers who said they took on second jobs to make ends meet, 49 percent said they had summer jobs.

"The downfall is the impact in the classroom. I know teachers who work late shifts at night and sometimes they don't get too prepared for the lessons the way they wanted to,” said Candelaria.
               
Even without a second job, teachers painted a picture of being overworked saying they spent an average of 17 hours per work week on school-related work outside the classroom.
               
When it comes to finances, respondents said they are spending an average of $656 dollars out of their own pockets for classroom supplies per year.

"There were students that I would buy coats for because they would come to school and they had no coat so, or I'd see their shoes and kids get bullied. So in order to prevent that bullying we'll buy a student a pair of shoes,” said Candelaria.

Yet pay is slow to increase. The average salary is $51,758 in Texas. That’s $6,000 below the national average. Candelaria says it makes for a difficult lifestyle here in Austin.

According to affordable housing consultants at Community Wheelhouse, a teacher making the median $49,697 salary at AISD, could afford a home for $180,000. Out of the 1,200 housing units currently for sale a teacher would be eligible to purchase 66 of them.

Candelaria says even with all of the financial stressors the teacher dedication level remains the same. He hopes lawmakers will follow suit.

"We're asking for the legislature to do the same. Share their true dedication by investing in our public schools and the people that work with our students every day. We can't say we're advocating for children if we don't also advocate for those adults who work with those children every single day,” said Candelaria.

Full survey results:
Moonlighting survey summary, TSTA 2016
(837 participants)

Male                                                                                                           21 percent
Female                                                                                                       79 percent
Major family income                                                                                54 percent
Minor income                                                                                            21 percent
Equal income                                                                                            20 percent
Urban district                                                                                             52 percent
Suburban                                                                                                   38 percent
Rural                                                                                                           10 percent
K-5 teacher                                                                                                42 percent
6-8                                                                                                               26 percent
9-12                                                                                                             32 percent

Average salary                                                                                           $53,147
Seriously considering leaving the profession                                      53 percent
Out of pocket spent on school supplies per year                                 $656
Out of pocket spent on health insurance per month                           $326
Hours per week spent outside classroom on school work                  17

Should a single exam determine a child’s promotion?

Yes or unsure                                                                                                 5 percent
No                                                                                                                     95 percent

Have jobs in the summer                                                                               49 percent
Have moonlight jobs during the school year                                             31 percent
Hours spent per week on moonlight jobs during school year                13.1
Moonlighting harmful to teaching quality                                                   72 percent
Would like to quit moonlighting                                                                    86 percent
Amount of raise needed to quit moonlighting                                            $8,974

General public has a positive opinion about teachers    Strongly disagree  14 percent
                                                                                                   Disagree                  39 percent
                                                                                                   Neutral                     17 percent
                                                                                                   Agree                        26 percent
                                                                                                   Strongly agree          4 percent

State leaders have a positive opinion about teachers         Strongly disagree       38 percent
                                                                                                        Disagree                      42 percent
                                                                                                        Neutral                         12 percent
                                                                                                        Agree                             6 percent
                                                                                                        Strongly agree             2 percent
                                                                                                        


 

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