Teachers Moonlighting to Make Ends Meet

By: Sarah Snyder
NewsWest 9

They're responsible for making sure your child makes the grade, but not only are local teachers spending eight hours in the classroom, they're moonlighting just to make ends meet. According to the Texas State Teachers Association, half are taking on second and third jobs because their teaching salaries just don't cut it.

"Teachers in the state of Texas have to take on supplemental jobs in order to make ends meet," Chuck Isner, Regional President for the Texas State Teachers Association, said.

Here in West Texas, about half of all the teachers aren't only handing out assignments and grading papers - they're also taking on more jobs working about 15 hours extra each week.

"It certainly doesn't allow you to give your best effort," Isner said.

For Midland and Ector counties ,average pay runs around $45,000, but when you have a big family, like Carol, that's just not enough.

"I have a house full of people and really, I'm the only one working," ECISD teacher Carol Hill, said.

During the school year, you'll find Carol teaching English, writing, and Social Studies at the ECISD alternative campus. But in order to take care of her family, she spends Saturdays monitoring detention, at night she works in the career lab along with teaching summer school.

"We need the extra to supplement our income," Hill said.

But despite the financial burden, Carol says she's willing to sacrifice to stick with a career she loves.

"I love working with the kids," Hill said. "I think every teacher I know who puts in that much time and effort really loves working with the kids, it's really rewarding."

But according to the State Teachers Association, the low wages and constant pressure have a growing number of teachers considering leaving the profession.

"We're professionals, but we're not treated like professionals," Isner said.

On Wednesday, the Midland School District announced a salary increase for their teachers, but in order to do that, they had to make a few cuts across several departments. District officials tell NewsWest 9, because of state budget cuts, those might be the last increases for quite some time.