The Phoenix Flyer

Almost 1 in 5 public school teachers work in jobs outside of school

By: - July 19, 2018 1:56 pm
Florida Phoenix

With Florida’s meager public school teacher pay in the news, a national survey has added fuel to the fire: Nearly 1 in 5 public school teachers across the country reported that they work other jobs outside of school to boost their income.

Those outside jobs include teaching and tutoring, non-teaching jobs related to the teaching field or work in a different field altogether.

The data published in mid-June comes from a national sample from the U.S. Department of Education’s 2015–16 National Teacher and Principal Survey (NTPS) Teacher Questionnaire.

Nationwide, 17.9 percent of regular full-time public school teachers surveyed said they worked outside of school to supplement their income.

Based on a regional analysis, the Midwest posted the highest percentage of teachers working outside jobs — 19.3 percent, followed by 19 percent for the Northeast, 17.3 percent for the South, and 16.6-percent the West.

And based on grade levels taught, public high school teachers posted the highest figures on teachers working outside of the classroom — 22.9-percent.

The average earnings for those outside jobs was $5,100 for 2015-16, according to the federal data.

The struggle for adequate teacher pay has become an election-year issue in Florida, with the Florida Education Association asking state House, Senate and gubernatorial candidates to sign pledges to increase teacher pay to at least the national average by 2023.

A recent National Education Association analysis shows the national average as $59,660, based on 2016-17 data, with Florida’s average at $47,267. That ranks Florida as 45th among the 50 states and Washington, D.C.


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Diane Rado
Diane Rado

Diane Rado has covered state and local government and public schools in six states over some 30 years, focusing on policy and investigative stories as well as legislative and political reporting. She is married to a journalist and has three adult children.