Local teachers struggling to make ends meet during summer

Many taking on side jobs to pay bills
Posted at 6:33 PM, Jul 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-13 18:33:14-04

Local teachers say they're struggling to make ends meet during the summer months. Many are now doing side jobs to get through the months without a paycheck.?

Carrie Meadows, a sixth-grade teacher with Hillsborough County Schools, says she's taught swimming every single summer since she began her career to pay the bills.?

But now, she's more concerned because of district budget concerns. Meadows is in her 15th year of teaching and normally would be due for a pay increase. However, because of the district's dire financial situation, she's preparing for the worst.?

"That's kind of scary because I kind of counted on that extra income to you know, help my family out," Meadows said.

Teresa Rey, a college and career counselor, lives paycheck to paycheck during the school year but said in the summer it's far worse.

"I do anything possible to actually bring food to my family," Rey said.

She's now driving for the ridesharing service Lyft more than 50 hours a week and often when others would be kicking back and taking a break.

"Friday nights, Saturday nights," she said.

She too is concerned about her financial future.

"They constantly want us to do more and more and more," Rey said. "But as far as getting any type of raise or anything, we don't see it."

Public school teachers statewide say they are doing more with less. However, salary woes don't end with them.

"I make enough to live. If I had a child, I could never do it," said Jazmine Force, a charter school teacher.

Force is a server and also shops for grocery delivery service Shipt several days a week.

"I have to do Shipt and things if I want to go on vacation or any extra income or anything," she said.

Hillsborough County Schools and the union continue to negotiate teacher benefits.