Grading papers or clocking in to a second job — Maryland teachers and the side hustle

This fall, you could run into your child’s teacher at a local restaurant, not eating a meal, but pulling a shift as a member of the waitstaff.

According to a survey from the Maryland State Education Association, 44% of the respondents to an MSEA survey said they have at least one job outside the classroom.

MSEA President Cheryl Bost told WTOP that some teachers and support staffers have two and three jobs all year round.

“I know some of them are waitressing or they’re doing ride-share,” said Bost.

According to the survey, younger teachers under 30 are most likely to have outside employment with 61% saying they hold down another job. The survey showed that 50% of Black educators and 52% of Hispanic educators also have second or third jobs.

Bost said that matters because, “all of those extra jobs take time away from delivering the best education and services we can for our students.”

The same survey showed that 90% of teachers reach into their own wallets to cover classroom costs — and not just for extra supplies.

“This is more than the things that we want, it’s also the things that we need to be an instructor,” said Bost. She said in her own experience, when her class lacked enough books, she might go out and purchase them herself.

“It was faster for me to go get those books than have to go through ordering,” Bost said.

She said the survey underscores the need to continue to raise educator salaries, as the vacancies in the field continue to rise and the number of graduates in education programs shrinks.

Bost’s comments come as Maryland lawmakers face the challenge of implementing the large-scale educations reform outlined in the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, enacted in 2021.

The survey included more than 2,800 public school employees who are members of the MSEA and the poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.8%.

Kate Ryan

As a member of the award-winning WTOP News, Kate is focused on state and local government. Her focus has always been on how decisions made in a council chamber or state house affect your house. She's also covered breaking news, education and more.

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