More than 40 percent of Maryland teachers have second jobs, survey says

More than 40 percent of Maryland educators have second jobs, according to a survey by the Maryland State Education Association.

The statewide teacher’s union also found that 91 percent of educators use their own money to buy school supplies.

“Far too many educators are struggling to make ends meet. It’s clear that Maryland needs to do more for our teachers and school staff,” Cheryl Bost, a former Baltimore County elementary teacher and current MSEA president, said in a statement. “Educators devote their lives to making a difference for every single child in their community, yet as a state we have allowed educators to become undervalued.”

The survey, administered by Washington-based GBA Strategies, collected answers from 800 public school employees who are also MSEA members. Respondents also answered questions about staffing, funding and their own student loan debt.

Joshua Webster, a teacher at Fort Smallwood Elementary School in Pasadena, said he’s held multiple jobs during his 21-year teaching career.

The STEM and society teacher’s workweek spans all seven days. He said he works two jobs back-to-back three times a week.

“I have a small lawn care business and work construction jobs to pay bills, and so our family can do things that normal people do, like go on vacation,” Webster said.

Webster also said he spends as much as $1,000 each school year on printer ink, prizes for students, academic materials and other supplies for his classroom.

“I wouldn’t be able to do those things without those [extra] jobs,” he said.

The MSEA’s survey results reflect national trends. Teachers nationwide are 30 percent more likely than non-teachers to hold a second job, the Brookings Institution reported this year. A study by the Economic Policy Institute found American teachers earn about 77 cents for every dollar earned by college graduates in other professions.

llumpkin@baltsun.com

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