Moonlighting may be on rise among cash-strapped teachers

March 21, 2010

The state teachers union says Indiana teachers are moonlighting as tennis coaches, tutors and camp counselors at an increasing rate as districts freeze salaries and take other steps to cut costs.

Nate Schnellenberger, president of the Indiana State Teachers Association, said the group has seen a jump in the number of teachers taking second jobs in the past three years and says budget cuts and the recession may be driving the increase.

Indiana teachers earned an average of $49,569 last year, but those just starting out can make $30,000 or less. That can make raising a family or paying a mortgage difficult, education officials said.

Many teachers have traditionally gotten summer jobs, but other employment during the school year is becoming more common.

Katie Hoffmann, a sixth-grade language arts teacher, spends part of her weekend waiting tables.

She said the waitressing job helps her financially and that she doesn't mind doing double duty. The single homeowner said she knew going into teaching that she'd need another way to supplement her income.

"I work a second job so that I can have a life," she said.

Sonny Moore, a fourth-grade extended learning teacher at Center Grove Elementary School, moonlights for a company that trains schools in staff development and tutors occasionally.

He said people don't go into teaching to get rich.

"I absolutely love my job," he said.

Teacher Beth Heavin earns extra money supervising after-school detentions and evening schools. She also is an assistant tennis coach and works as a private tutor.

She routinely puts in 12-hour days but says it's an economic necessity.

"We're all looking for the pennies that will get us to a better time," Heavin said.
 

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