Many Utah teachers work 2nd jobs to supplement low salaries

Photo courtesy Norfolk Public Schools.

LEHI, Utah (AP) — Many Utah public school teachers work second jobs to supplement low salaries that aren’t expected to rise substantially with enrollment numbers.

For third-grade teacher and Costco cashier David Cichoski, less than 3 miles separate his classroom and retail job.

“You have to really swallow your pride,” Cichoski said. “It just gives me that little extra edge to pay all the bills.”

Utah’s teacher shortage can be tied to pay and hours, Granite School District spokesman Ben Horsley told the Salt Lake Tribune ( ). “It’s becoming more and more difficult to attract quality teachers — and teachers in general — to the industry,” Horsley said.

A 2014 Center for American Progress study found almost 17 percent of Utah teachers were also working outside the classroom, more than the roughly 16 percent nationally.

Lawmakers would need to budget another $115 million to prepare for a 10,000-student bump in enrollment expected in 2017. Increases in spending per student would be unlikely to go toward teacher salaries after health care and retirement costs are taken into account.

Some education groups have discussed a nearly 1-percent income tax increase for schools.

“Most teachers would (only) be full-time teachers if it paid,” Salt Lake City Democratic Rep. Joel Briscoe said.

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