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Research Shows Many Teachers Pulling Double Duty

Teacher salaries in Kentucky have remained somewhat steady since 2000. (Pixabay)
Teacher salaries in Kentucky have remained somewhat steady since 2000. (Pixabay)
June 25, 2018

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Lazy summer days are not always in the cards for Kentucky teachers.

And besides working at another job during the summer school break, some teachers hold down a second job during the school year.

New data from the National Center for Education Statistics shows that nearly 1-in-5 teachers worked a job outside of the school system during the 2015-2016 school year.

Stephanie Winkler, president of the Kentucky Teachers Association, says educators simply are not being paid adequately.

"It's a fact that I wish were not true, but if you go to any school building in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, you'll find educators that work an outside job or perhaps even several jobs to make ends meet,” she points out. “This is an unfortunate reality in public education today."

Teachers in Kentucky earn on average $53,000 annually, according to the National Education Association. That's just slightly higher than in 2000.

Winkler maintains school funding problems, coupled with a lack of respect for the profession, results in teachers not being properly compensated for their education and experience.

Winkler says teachers often devote their own time and money to ensure students are ready to learn, which includes purchasing supplies and sometimes food.

"The lack of education funding, it usually falls back on the teachers to make up for that loss in funding because we don't want our students to go without,” she states. “So it's just unfortunate that it has to come to that."

Winkler adds that the report findings underscore what society values.

"Education above all else makes every other occupation possible,” she points out. “So one might assume that education at its foundation would be the highest priority for our nation, but reality tells us a different story. So this must and can change if we want to make it so."

Kentucky ranks 26th among states for the average teacher salary.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - KY