Survey: Teachers moonlight to make ends meet
A statewide survey of teachers by the Texas State Teachers' Association may not accurately reflect strides made in the Burleson ISD to reward classroom educators.
The TSTA released a survey last week of teachers in all grades and in rural, urban and suburban districts that found 31 percent hold jobs outside of their teaching responsibilities and outside the average of 17 weekly hours they spend independent of the classroom on teaching-related tasks, such as grading papers and preparing lesson plans.
The survey concludes the additional jobs are worked to support families, as 59 percent were the major income earners of their household and 86 percent would quit the extra job for $9,000 in additional salary.
"Our teachers are the heart and soul of our district, and the priority of our school board has been to ensure that our teachers are competitively compensated," BISD Superintendent Bret Jimerson said. "As a result, BISD has increased starting teacher salaries by more than 10 percent through the last three years."
The TSTA did not report the sample size or the confidence percentage. It was conducted for the TSTA by faculty members at Sam Houston State University.
It found teachers on average spend $656 annually for classroom supplies and about $3,900 for insurance premiums.
The Texas Legislature could play a role in lessening the burden placed on educators to self-fund insurance premiums, TSTA President Noel Candelaria said. The state has not increased the $75 monthly premium contribution it makes to educator insurance premiums in nearly 15 years.
“Our teachers work extra hours and spend their own money to buy supplies because they are dedicated to their students’ success, and it’s time for elected officials to support students and educators with that same kind of dedication by providing the resources needed for success in the classroom,” TSTA President Noel Candelaria said.
While the survey may indicate teacher pay lags in many areas of the state, at BISD competitive pay has been a priority.
"BISD has ensured that veteran teachers' pay has increased and is competitive with their peers," Jimerson said. It is part of an annual review during budget planning.
Half of the survey respondents say they have considered leaving the teaching profession. Only 8 percent believed that legislators and state elected officials have a positive opinion about teachers. Public opinion polls typically find an overwhelming majority of voters hold teachers in very high regard.