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York Educators Talk Dollars and Sense

When the York Education Association (YEA) surveyed school division employees about their compensation, the results didn’t surprise local association leaders. But they may have come as a bit of a shock to county officials and citizens who heard those results at YEA’s “Teacher Next Door” event during American Education Week.

“Almost half of York public school employees have a second job to supplement their income,” says YEA President Carol Bauer, a fourth-grade teacher at Grafton Bethel Elementary School. “It’s difficult to split your energies between teaching, family and still another job. We can do better.”

 Some of the comments from York educators who responded to the survey, which were displayed at the event:

• “I am a single mother with two children to support. I am on the verge of losing my house and every month is a struggle to see if we can make it.”

• “Teachers should be able to support themselves on this salary and not feel like they have to get an extra job just to get by.”

• “I cannot afford my house payment anymore and am having to move.”

• “I am seriously considering leaving the field I love because I cannot pay my expenses. I don’t want to leave, but side jobs and stipends don’t cover my school loans, house payments, food, etc.”

• “I go to a food bank.”

“We all have stories,” says Bauer, “and we learned that we need to tell those stories to the public and our elected officials.”

YEA members had a chance to do just that at “Teacher Next Door,” which featured a panel discussion by educators, a question-and-answer session, and the screening of the film “American Teacher.”

Delegate Mike Watson, York County School Board member Cindy Kirschke, and a representative from the governor’s office were among those there to listen, along with community members.

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