The Outcome of a Low Income
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The Outcome of a Low Income

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Shelby Moreno, Editor

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It’s common knowledge that teacher wages aren’t very high. The average teacher salary in the United States is at an estimated $56,383 per year. Coming in 31st on the state ranking and under the national average, Texas only pays its teachers somewhere around $48,110 a year.

Considering the salary of the average teacher, especially in Texas, it could potentially have dramatic effects on the numbers of teachers throughout the country.

“I believe that the salary is a major deterrent for younger people trying to come into the profession,” teacher Anastasia Armstreet said. “With the rising cost of college and the amount of student loans many are taking out, coming into a job that only pays $30K just isn’t sufficient.  Then you add to that the stress and hours and extra duties that can be assigned to you at the drop of a hat…people with four year degrees would rather go make more money with less stress elsewhere.”

As some feel that higher wages would positively affect the percentage of teachers across the nation, some have a different perspective towards the hypothetical outcome.

“I do not believe that a change in salary would increase the number of people becoming teachers,” teacher and coach Jason Baldwin said. “I do not feel like salary is affecting the numbers. I do believe teacher pay affects people deciding on a future career, but if that is why someone chooses to become a teacher then they are in the profession for the wrong reasons and shouldn’t become a teacher.”

With lowered income, many teachers have resorted to maintaining more than one job to assist with their earnings.

“My first year of teaching I managed a restaurant on the weekends in a town that was two hours away,” said Armstreet. “I’ve also taken on multiple jobs within the school system…anything to make extra money.”

Other teachers have also taken advantage of obtaining more than one job to help with earning additional payment.

“I am also an artist, I sell my artwork to make extra money,” art teacher Melanie Phelps said. “I have even painted a few murals at people’s houses.”

As sustaining numerous jobs can lead to added profit, it can also cause concerns with time management.

“The multiple jobs was only hard once I had children…it’s just about prioritizing your responsibilities” Armstreet said.

“Real estate was a good second job because there are no set hours and I can work as necessary,” teacher Samuel Thomas said. “The most difficult thing is finding time to manage both when there are more hours required for real estate, but time management has been enough to keep me afloat.”

The Texas Senate has recently proposed a bill that will take into account giving all Texas teachers a $5,000 pay raise.

“I believe that a 5,000 dollar raise is not only necessary but also warranted,” Baldwin said.

When asked her opinion on the altering of teachers commissions, Armstreet said, “I think teacher pay is low for the college degree(s) required to be able to do this job. I think the pay should reflect the time and effort put in to obtaining the credentials and schooling needed, as well as the long hours that teachers work during their contracted days.”

Overall, many agree that teachers should be taken into consideration for larger pay.

“I feel that the number and quality of teachers would go up if there were raises,” Phelps said.

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