News Roundup: Low Pay Means More Texas Teachers Are Taking Second Jobs

Our daily look at Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelAugust 9, 2018 12:56 pm

A study out this week finds more Texas teachers are taking second jobs to supplement their income.

The Texas State Teachers Association, along with researchers from Sam Houston State University, surveyed nearly 1,000 educators.

39 percent said they need second jobs during the school year to make ends meet. That’s up 8 percent from 2016, the last time the TSTA conducted this survey.

TSTA president Noel Candelaria says having to work multiple jobs takes a toll on teachers. “Almost 80 percent of them said that having the second job severely impacted their ability to do the best job for their students, and prepare for their students,” Candelaria says. “So they felt it was a negative impact.”

Candelaria says it’s time for the state legislature to adequately fund public education, including teacher salaries.

“Right now, we’re 7,300 dollars below the national [salary] average, ranking 29th the country,” Candelaria says, calling for action “bringing that up to the national average, increasing teacher pay across the state, and not just leaving it up to individual school districts.”

Just over half of respondents to the survey said they were seriously considering leaving the teaching profession due to low salaries.

The head of the Texas Education Agency is also expressing concerns over teacher compensation and how it affects recruitment and retention.

Mike Morath told members of the Texas House Public Education Committee Wednesday that pay is the top reason colleague graduates don’t want to be teachers.

“The number one career if you’re interested in money is chemical engineering,” Morath said. “I think every time I get out to the Permian Basin I see why that might be. The worst career in terms of money, below social work, is education.”

Morath also updated lawmakers on the TEA’s new grading system for school districts that rates them on a scale of A through F.

The district grades will be released next week August 15.

The second most powerful elected city official in Dallas has plead guilty to federal corruption charges.

Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway has admitted to accepting nearly half a million dollars for votes that benefitted Force Multiplier Solutions, a school bus camera company at the center of a scandal at Dallas County Schools.

It’s the latest news in an investigation into bribes of school and city officials to secure Dallas County Schools contracts worth tens of millions of dollars.

Caraway also resigned from Dallas City Council.