Survey shows more Texas teachers taking on extra jobs
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When school lets out for the summer, plenty of students take on temporary jobs to make some extra cash. However, a recent survey shows that a growing number of teachers are also taking additional summer gigs to help make ends meet.
David Dupont is a high school social studies teacher who has also been in the lawn care business for many years.
"I got into teaching because I wanted to affect youth and inspire," Dupont said.
Dupont is part of a growing number of Texas educators who moonlight during the school year or take on extra jobs in the summer.
Part of the problem is increasing out of pocket costs like health care coverage and spouses losing jobs.
"I think it's personally sad, but also socially sad because it's an axiom in our culture. You get what you pay for," Dupont said. "But people don't seem to want to apply that axiom to education."
According to a new survey by Sam Houston State University and commissioned by the Texas State Teachers Association, four out of 10 of the teacher respondents said they held extra jobs. It is the highest percentage since the survey first started in 1980.
Rita Haecker is the president of the Texas State Teachers Association.
"For our teachers to be overworked and tired and energy level not where it needs to be because they have another job, it's going to really affect the outcome in the classroom," Haecker said.
The average salary for a Texas teacher was about $47,000 for the 2008-2009 school year. The average ranks 34th in the country and about $7,000 below the national average.
"If we could just get our teachers up to that level, that would help a lot," Haecker said.
However, Texas teachers are going up against what could be an $18 billion budget shortfall.
Educators like Dupont know that more green is likely to come from cutting more grass.
"I think I would be a better teacher if I wasn't working a second job," he said.
Click here to read a PDF document of the entire survey results.