PNS Daily Newscast - September 20, 2019 

A whistleblower complaint against President Trump sets off tug-of-war between Congress and the White House; and students around the world strike today to demand action on climate change.

2020Talks - September 20, 2019. (3 min.)  

Climate change is a big issue this election season, and global climate strikes kick off, while UAW labor strikes continue.

Daily Newscasts

Report: Moonlighting Common Among Teachers

Illinois teachers earn about 20% less than other college-educated workers. (pathdoc/Adobe Stock)
Illinois teachers earn about 20% less than other college-educated workers. (pathdoc/Adobe Stock)
May 14, 2019

CHICAGO — Summer is no break for some Illinois teachers. New research suggests many of them are punching in a second time card.

According to findings from the Economic Policy Institute, 59% of teachers nationwide turn to moonlighting or side jobs to supplement their income - in some cases, just to make ends meet. Illinois Education Association president Kathi Griffin said the findings are in line with her organization's own data, which shows Illinoisans believe teachers are undervalued and underpaid.

"When we respect our teachers and we compensate them accordingly, we can attract the best and the brightest to educate what we consider our most precious resource, and that's our students,” Griffin said.

The side jobs featured in the report are not extra summer or holiday jobs, but work that happens in addition to a teacher's regular schedule. Teachers in Illinois earn roughly $65,000 annually on average, about 20% less than other college-educated workers.

Report co-author Emma Garcia said there's a direct connection between the current teacher shortage and poor teacher pay. And while increasing pay is important, she noted that it isn't the only issue.

"We also have to fix the working environment for teachers,” Garcia said. “We have to increase funding for schools, and we also have to provide support for young teachers who are starting their careers."

Griffin added she's heard from high school seniors and college students interested in becoming teachers. They say salary is the biggest hurdle to joining the profession, and she said it's disappointing.

"Every day when I went to work, I was so full of joy to be there working with those students,” she said. “And to have that in your core and not do it because of the money is just a disservice not only to those people who would make great teachers, but it also hurts our kids."

In a recent survey, 85% of Illinois superintendents said they believe they have a problem with teacher shortages, up from 78% in 2017.

Mary Schuermann Kuhlman, Public News Service - IL