18% of U.S teachers work a se­cond job, sur­vey finds

The Detroit News - - News - BY TIM TAL­LEY, MELISSA DANIELS, MICHAEL MELIA AND JOHN RABY As­so­ci­ated Press As­so­ci­ated Press

Ok­la­homa City – Hun­dreds of thou­sands of Amer­i­can schoolteach­ers work se­cond jobs to boost their in­come. They speak of miss­ing time with fam­ily, strug­gles to com­plete les­son plans and nag­ging doubts over whether it’s worth the sac­ri­fices to stay in their pro­fes­sion.

Na­tion­wide, 18 per­cent of teachers work jobs out­side school, sup­ple­ment­ing the av­er­age full-time teacher salary of $55,100 by an av­er­age of $5,100, ac­cord­ing to the lat­est sur­vey from the U.S. Ed­u­ca­tion Depart­ment, from the 2015-2016 school year. That is up slightly from 16 per­cent in 20112012.

Teachers have the flex­i­bil­ity to do other work in the sum­mer when school is out. But their num­bers help ex­plain the out­rage be­hind the teacher re­volts in West Vir­ginia, Ok­la­homa and Ken­tucky.

The As­so­ci­ated Press asked moon­light­ing teachers to de­scribe how they bal­ance the ex­tra hours with their day jobs and fam­ily re­spon­si­bil­i­ties:

Jan­i­tor

Af­ter a day of in­struct­ing first­graders at Oolo­gah-Talala Pub­lic Schools in Ok­la­homa, Melinda Dale puts on a jan­i­tor’s uni­form and be­gins clean­ing the very same school build­ing.

Dale, who has taught for six years, earns $32,000 a year as a teacher. She spends about 15 hours a week on the jan­i­to­rial work, which at $10 an hour al­lows her to earn nearly a quar­ter of what she makes teach­ing.

She is try­ing to save money for college for the old­est of her three chil­dren, a high school se­nior.

Her se­cond job forces her to do les­son plans on the week­end, usu­ally on Sun­days af­ter church and lunch with her fam­ily.

One day, her sev­enth-grade daugh­ter was wait­ing in the car for her mother and said: “I’m sorry it’s come to this, mom.”

“It was a very heart­warm­ing but sad mo­ment to hear her say those words,” Dale said. “I’ll do what­ever it takes to be in the ca­reer that I’m in, but also pro­vide for them.”

Lyft driver

As Lyft driver Ste­fanie Lowe, 28, criss­crosses the metro Phoenix area in her Jeep, many of her pas­sen­gers are sur­prised to learn that she is also a full-time teacher.

She earns just un­der $37,000 as a first-grade teacher at Tus­cano El­e­men­tary School. She rents a room, in­stead of hav­ing her own apart­ment, to keep her hous­ing costs down, but to make ends meet she drives for Lyft on nights and week­ends and also picks up tu­tor­ing jobs.

By 7 a.m. the next school day, she’s back at her class­room. With 32 stu­dents, the class de­mands her full at­ten­tion. But Lowe is com­mit­ted to im­prov­ing her stu­dents’ lives.

“These kids are go­ing to be tak­ing care of you when you’re older,” she said. “Let’s ed­u­cate them; let’s make them the best peo­ple that they can be.”

Pho­tog­ra­pher

De­spite more than three decades of teach­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, Christi Phillips keeps up her long­time se­cond ca­reer as a chil­dren’s pho­tog­ra­pher. She en­joys work­ing both jobs, but she feels like she doesn’t re­ally have a choice.

“Thirty-two years, I have to have a se­cond job,” said Phillips, who teaches first grade at Ge­orge Ward El­e­men­tary School in Mill Creek, West Vir­ginia. “That’s very sad. Ev­ery­body I know has two or three.”

Phillips makes $52,000 teach­ing. That’s enough, she says, for her util­i­ties and a car pay­ment. The money from the se­cond job is needed if she and her hus­band want to eat out at a nice restau­rant, buy a se­cond a ve­hi­cle or take a va­ca­tion.

“If I want to live, if I want to do any real liv­ing, I can’t do it on my salary,” Phillips said.

Djukanovic sweeps Mon­tene­gro vote

Pod­gor­ica, Mon­tene­gro – Mon­tene­gro’s rul­ing party leader Milo Djukanovic swept a pres­i­den­tial elec­tion on Sun­day, pre­lim­i­nary re­sults showed, and he pledged to keep the small Balkan coun­try firmly on a Euro­pean path af­ter it joined NATO last year in de­fi­ance of Rus­sia.

Djukanovic won 54 per­cent of the bal­lots, se­cur­ing a vic­tory in the first round and avoid­ing a runoff, ac­cord­ing to re­sults re­leased by the in­de­pen­dent Cen­ter for Mon­i­tor­ing and Re­search. His main op­po­nent, Mladen Bo­janic, won 33 per­cent.

Sun­day’s vote, the first since Mon­tene­gro joined the Western mil­i­tary al­liance in De­cem­ber, was seen as a test for Djukanovic, who fa­vors Euro­pean in­te­gra­tion over closer ties to tra­di­tional ally Moscow.

Sue Ogrocki / AP

Oo­la­gah, Okla., teachers Melinda Dale, left, Scar­lett Sellmeyer and Sierra Ryan protest at their state Capi­tol.

Risto Bo­zovic / AP

Milo Djukanovic, left, drinks cham­pagne dur­ing a cel­e­bra­tion Sun­day af­ter pres­i­den­tial elec­tions in Mon­tene­gro's cap­i­tal Sun­day.

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